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Local councils tasked with rolling out 1,000 on-street electric car charge points over the next 5 years

There are currently almost 1,100 public charge points available across the island of Ireland.

The government plans to have 2,000 charging points nationwide by 2025.
The government plans to have 2,000 charging points nationwide by 2025.
Image: Shutterstock/mimagephotography

LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARE being tasked with rolling out 1,000 on-street electric car charge points over the next five years. 

Funding has been announced today to support local councils through capital supports of 75% of the cost of installing the charge point, up to maximum of €5,000,

It aims to ensure the development of up to 200 on-street charge points per year. 

The charge points may be located where public parking is provided on-street or in local authority car parks.

In many cases, on-street charge points may be integrated with street lighting in a single lamp-post.

There are currently almost 1,100 public charge points available across the island of Ireland. 

The announcement today comes after the ESB confirmed that it is ending its free charging for drivers of electric cars in a matter of weeks.

The ESB said it will be making an announcement around its pricing structure for the charging of electric vehicles at its public stations in September.

It is understood that once the prices have been announced, there will be a lead-in time of a number of weeks before drivers will have to pay. 

On-street charge points

Under this new supports scheme, it is expected that local authorities will operate the new charge points, with the help of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, which will manage the scheme.

It is planned that the scheme will be open for applications by the end of next month.

Today’s announcement is one of the key provisions contained in the government’s Climate Action Plan, which has a big focus on electric vehicle roll out.  

The plan commits to a target of 936,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030.

Ensuring there is the necessary infrastructure in place to support this step up is crucial, said the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton.

We are investing in this network to give people confidence to make the switch. Now is the time to make the change. This network, along with the investment ESB are making in new high speed chargers and the renewal of existing chargers, is building a strong network that vehicle owners can trust.
There is significant growth in the number of electric vehicles taking to the road. This year alone there are 5,000 extra electric vehicles on the road bringing the total to over 12,500.

recent department review found that the increase in electric car take-up “could pose a substantial risk to stability of the State’s finances”. 

It also projected that the €200 million in Project 2040 will soon run out if the uptake continues at this pace, and states maintaining the existing level of supports would be a “regressive choice”

Despite the department’s report, the minister maintained that increasing the number of electric vehicles, in particular where battery electric vehicles replace older diesel vehicles, will have a “very beneficial impact on air quality, as battery electric vehicles do not produce any fumes”.

He said today’s announcement will build on the 90 new high speed chargers, which charge at three times the power of fast chargers, the 50 new fast chargers and over 500 upgraded charge points which will be supported under the Climate Action Fund.

2,000 charging points by 2025 

If local authorities hit their target, there will be a network of around 2,000 public charge points nationwide by 2025. 

Bruton said increasing the number of on-street charge points will allow those who do not have a driveway access to a charge point, which he said will remove a key barrier to the uptake of electric vehicles.

The minister added that his department is also looking to expand the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant scheme, which is a grant of up to €600 that is currently available to purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles to support the installation of chargers in homes with dedicated parking spaces.

He said options are being examined that would see supports for the installation of chargers in residential buildings where there is private shared parking, such as apartments. Bruton said he expects to have this support in place early in 2020.

In addition, the government plans to introduce new regulations to require non-domestic buildings with over 20 car parking spaces to install charging facilities.

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