Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Question 341: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress he has made towards reaching his target of 10% electric motoring by 2020; the amount spent on working towards this target to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42752/10]
The Government has set a target of 10% of all vehicles to be powered by electricity by 2020, which equates to around 225,000 vehicles. Ireland aims to be at the forefront of electric vehicle technology developments and my Department is working with relevant Departments and Agencies to ensure that the necessary structures and initiatives are in place to meet this target.
Last April I signed an Agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance and ESB, which underpins Ireland as one of the European leaders in electric transport. The Agreement, building on the Memorandum of Understanding last year, includes the development of a nationwide electric car charging infrastructure, the continued sharing of technical and market data between the parties and the early supply of electric cars into the Irish market by Renault and Nissan from next year.
Progress has also been made in discussions with other major motor manufacturers to make early production vehicles available to the Irish market. Last month, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Toyota Ireland and I expect that other agreements will be developed in the foreseeable future.
The Electric Vehicle (EV) grant scheme, which is due to commence in January 2011, will provide for grants of up to €5,000 for full battery electric vehicles and up to €2,500 for plug in hybrid electric vehicles. This scheme, which is subject to the approval of the Minister for Finance and availability of the requisite resources, is anticipated to provide grants for up to 6,000 vehicles over a two year period. It will be administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
In February 2011, Nissan will begin to supply its all-electric, LEAF hatchback to the car market in Ireland. A number of other car manufacturers have indicated that they will also be launching electric vehicles into the market later in 2011 and in 2012.
The ESB will roll out 1,500 charge points on a nationwide basis by December 2011. These charge points will support both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The rollout has already begun with 12 on street charge points, 15 domestic charge points and 13 industrial chargers are already installed. The roll-out of these charge points is continuing, in anticipation of the first production EVs from major manufacturers coming to market in early 2011. It is anticipated that approximately 200 public charge points will be in place by year end. ESB also plans to install up to 30 fast charge points across Ireland by the end of 2011, with nine expected to be set up by the end of this year.
SEAI provided grants of 138,000 euro for eight demonstration EVs in 2009 under its Renewable Energy in Transport Research Programme. Approximately 30,000 euro has been committed by SEAI on IT systems updates in anticipation of the Electric Vehicle Grant Scheme.