Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
86. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if plans have been made by his Department to address the virtual absence of operational public car charging points in County Donegal give the significant rise in electric vehicles on the roads; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62764/22]
The Government is fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle (EV) charging network over the coming years. As the Deputy is aware, a draft national strategy for the development of EV charging infrastructure, covering the crucial period out to 2025 was published for consultation in March. The draft strategy sets out the government’s ambition regarding the delivery of a public EV charging network to support up to 195,000 electric cars and vans by the middle of the decade. Responses and submissions received as part of the consultation are currently being considered in the development of the final Strategy that will be published today, alongside an Implementation Plan.
Home charging is the primary charging method for most Irish EV owners as it’s convenient and cheaper for the consumer as well as assisting in the overall management of the national grid. Over 80% of charging is expected to happen at home.
However, there is also a need for a seamless public charging network that will provide for situations or instances where home charging is not possible, such as on-street and residential charging, destination charging and workplace charging.
On 21st July I launched a new dedicated Office, Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland, which will oversee and accelerate Ireland’s transition to zero emission vehicles. A suite of new grants and initiatives have been launched and further information on Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland is available at: www.gov.ie/zevi
Public EV charge points are provided in Ireland by a number of charge point operators on a commercial basis. ZEVI is engaging with these charge point operators as key stakeholders in the delivery and roll-out of fast charging points across the country.
€10 million was committed from the Climate Action Fund to support ESB investment in the charging network and this has leveraged a further €10 million investment from ESB, with the infrastructure to be in place by the end of 2022.
In terms of progress ESB eCars have:
- One hub of 4 High-Powered Chargers with 8 charging bays constructed, with 2 in progress. There is an overall target of 6 sites
- One hub consisting of 2 High-Powered Chargers with 4 charging bays completed with a further 10 currently in design/construction.
- 17 hubs of 1 High-Powered Charger and 1 Fast Charger with 3 charging bays completed with a further 13 currently in design/construction
- Completed the upgrade of 40 Standard 22kW chargers to DC Fast 50kW chargers
- Completed the replacement of 250 Standard 22kW AC chargers.
Further details on the progression of this project can be found at: esb.ie/what-we-do/ecars/our-network
In terms of existing supports for public charging, the Public Charge Point Scheme, which is administered by the SEAI, continues to be available and provides local authorities with a grant of up to €5,000 to support the development of on-street public chargers. The primary focus of the scheme is to provide support for the installation of infrastructure which will facilitate owners of electric vehicles, who do not have access to a private parking space, but instead rely on parking their vehicles in public places near their homes to charge their EVs. It should be noted that this scheme facilitates the installation of standard charge points.
ZEVI has significant funding available in 2023 for the installation of EV charging across Ireland. A new scheme for neighbourhood charging is in development expected to launch at the end of the year.
In addition, ZEVI is also currently working in partnership with a number of Local Authorities on pilot programmes for EV charging this year. Donegal County Council is welcome to contact the ZEVI team if it would like to put forward a pilot EV charging project for consideration in ZEVI’s pilot programme.
My Department is also developing a new scheme which will support the installation of destination charge points in locations such as visitor centres and parks. This new initiative will help provide another critical link in the overall network for public charging.
Public charge points in Ireland are provided by a number of charge point operators on a commercial basis. ESB eCars is one of these operators and has a significant presence nationwide. In light of ESB eCars role in providing publicly accessible charge points, I have forwarded your question for direct response. Please contact my office if no reply is received within 10 working days.