Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Electric Vehicles

Photo of Colm BurkeColm Burke (Cork North Central, Fine Gael)
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110. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the provision of mobility hubs nationally under the new Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure Strategy 2022 – 2025, in particular details of the launch of pilot hubs in two cities and a major town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10955/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The Climate Action Plans 2023 and 2024 (CAP23 and CAP24) and the National Sustainable Mobility Policy (SMP) include several actions to expand the availability of shared mobility options in Ireland, including through the development of mobility hubs.

As the Deputy refers, it is intended to pilot a number of shared mobility hub networks within several locations. International evidence suggests that ease of accessibility, with options to travel between hub locations and to and from public transport interchanges, is key to reducing reliance on cars for many journeys, particularly for shorter distances. However, before these pilots are rolled out, it is important to get a better understanding of what is needed - from users and from industry.

To that end, my Department has recently launched a public consultation seeking the views of key stakeholders and members of the public on issues related to shared mobility, and particularly the development of shared mobility hubs. An Issues Paper has been published as part of this consultation. It outlines the rationale for the development of shared mobility and mobility hubs in the context of Ireland’s emissions reduction targets, as well as setting out some of the key issues to be explored and addressed within an Irish context. These include considerations around governance, operations, data, communications, accessibility, safety and inclusion.

This consultation, which will inform the future development of an operating model for mobility hubs, including the design of the pilots, will run until 3 May. For this reason, I would urge all interested parties to participate in this very important process.

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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111. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport for an update from his Department on the roll-out of electric car chargers nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10961/24]

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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160. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport for an update on the action he is taking to support the roll-out of the EV charging network; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11123/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 and 160 together.

The Government is fully committed to supporting a significant expansion and modernisation of the electric vehicle (EV) charging network over the coming years. Having an effective and reliable charging network is an essential part of enabling drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles.

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.

Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI), a dedicated Office which oversees and accelerates Ireland’s transition to zero emission vehicles, has significant funding available in 2024 for the installation of EV charging across Ireland.

In January 2023, I launched the national Strategy for the development of EV charging infrastructure, covering the crucial period out to 2025, alongside an Implementation Plan. The 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.

A range of new charging infrastructure schemes are being developed which will help provide another critical link in the overall network for public charging. In addition to a general Destination Charging scheme, a number of bespoke schemes are also in advanced stages of development and delivery, including:

A shared Island funded Sports Club scheme, which will install up to 200 fast chargers

An EU Just transition Fund supported scheme, which is planned to install 60-80 chargers

These new sites, in addition to those under other destination schemes currently planned will be delivered in 2024 and 2025.

In June 2023, the draft Universal Design Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure was published for public consultation. The document summarises key considerations when designing, installing, and operating electric vehicle charging stations. These include:

the design of the charging station;

the accessibility of the site;

.. the information and communications to inform users before, during, and after a charging session.

I launched The National En-Route EV Charging Network Plan in September 2023. This is the first element of the National EV Charging Network Plan which, will cover all publicly accessible EV charging in the country.

The National En-Route EV Charging Network Plan and associated initiatives will drive the delivery of charging infrastructure on the National Road Network. The Plan sets out ambitious targets for the level and coverage needed for En-Route charging on our national roads network. We are already seeing significant increased capacity of EV charging on our national roads, and this plan provides additional reassurance and certainty for EV drivers and those thinking of making the switch to EVs that they will be able to find high powered, fast and convenient EV charge-points where and when they need them.

The Plan sets out a provision of EV charging that will be ahead of demand and meet European requirements for charging electric cars, LGVs and HGVs by 2025 and 2030. The implementation of this Plan through enhanced grid connections, funding interventions and enabling measures will remove barriers and accelerate the delivery of high-powered EV charging.

A new funding scheme to accelerate charging provision on the motorway network was launched by TII last month. The Plan can be found at www.tii.ie/roads-tolling/tolling-information/zevi-ev-charging-infrastr-LDV/.

Looking ahead, the final draft of the Regional and Local EV Charging Network Plan will be published for consultation shortly. This will include modelling AFIR targets for 2025 and 2030 on a county-by-county level.

Additionally, ZEVI has been engaging extensively with Local Authorities to develop their EV Infrastructure Strategies for Destination and Residential neighbourhood chargers. Local Authorities as part of their strategy development and implementation planning will identify locations and optimum sites where these types of chargers are required. ZEVI is currently engaging with Local Authorities and looking at potential direct multi annual funding options for Local Authorities to install both Destination and Local neighbourhood Charging Projects. It is anticipated that Phase 1 projects will commence roll out this year.


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