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Minister Bruton Launches New Scheme for On- Street Charge Points for Electric Vehicles

1,000 Extra Charge Points to be Supported over the Next 5 Years

Government takes measures to combat ‘range-anxiety’

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. today (Monday 26th August) announced funding to support the rollout by local authorities of up to 1,000 on-street public charge points for electric vehicles over the next 5 years. This new scheme will support the widespread roll out of electric vehicles. 

The Climate Action Plan, launched by Minister Bruton earlier this year, 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.

Launching the new scheme Minister Bruton said:

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 (plug in hybrid and fully electric).

Under the Climate Action Plan we will introduce the necessary actions to increase renewable electricity to 70% by 2030. By increasing the amount of electricity we get from renewable sources, we will further improve the positive impact such vehicles have on the environment. Increasing the number of electric vehicles, in particular where battery electric vehicles replace older diesel vehicles, will also have a very beneficial impact on air quality, as battery electric vehicles do not produce any fumes.

Today’s announcement will build on the 90 new high speed chargers (which charge at three times the power of fast chargers), 50 new fast chargers and over 500 upgraded charge points which will be supported under the Climate Action Fund. This will ensure that we build a network of circa 2,000 reliable public charge points nationwide by 2025, which will be enough to support a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road. In addition, we will introduce new regulations to require non-domestic buildings with over 20 car parking spaces to install charging facilities.   

Local Authorities, who are responsible for the provision of an extensive range of services in their own administrative areas, are ideally placed to identify the most suitable locations for installing these new charge points.

Increasing the number of on-street charge points will allow those who do not have a driveway access to a charge point. This will remove a key barrier to the uptake of electric vehicles. 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 lamppost.

This support will complement the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant, 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.  The Department is currently examining options to expand the scheme to support the installation of chargers in residential buildings with private shared parking (e.g. apartments) and expects to have a support in place early in 2020.


Notes to Editor

Capital supports of 75% of the cost up to maximum of 5,000 euro per charge point will be provided to Local Authorities for the development of up to 200 on-street charge points per annum. 

The Local Authorities will operate the charge points subject to the terms and conditions of the scheme.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, who will manage the scheme, and the Department are currently finalising the terms and conditions that will apply. This is being done in consultation with Local Authorities and it is planned that the scheme will then open for applications by the end of next month.

ESB rollout

Under the first call for applications from the Climate Action Fund, Minister Bruton approved funding of up to €10 million to support ESB eCars to develop a nationwide, state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast charging network. The project includes the installation of 90 high-power chargers each of which will be capable of charging two vehicles simultaneously, upgrading 50 existing standard chargers to fast chargers and replacing over 500 existing charge points with next generation high reliability models.

Government supports

In addition to the public changing network, the Government provides the following incentives to support the uptake of electric vehicles:

  • Purchase grant of up to €5,000 for electric vehicles (including battery electric vehicles and for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles)
  • Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) relief of up to €5,000 for battery electric vehicles and up to €2,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • Benefit-in-Kind relief for battery electric vehicles (up to a maximum value of €50,000)
  • A grant of up to €600 towards the cost of the installation of a domestic charge point for purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles
  • Grants of up to €7,000 for electric vehicles in the taxi/hackney/limousine sector
  • Accelerated Capital Allowances for businesses to support investment in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure
  • Low rate of annual motor tax (€120 per annum) for battery electric vehicles
  • A discount on tolls of 50% for battery electric vehicles and 25% for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles up to a maximum amount of €500 per year (with greater reductions off-peak on the M50)

Climate Action Plan Target

There are currently 2.1m passenger vehicles on Irish roads. It is expected that this will grow to about 2.3-2.6m by 2030. The Climate Action Plan has set a target that about 840k will be either fully electric or hybrid models by 2030. This means that 840k out of about 2.3-2.6m vehicles would be electric (35% - 40%).

Required ramp-up:

Last year, there were over 210,000 car registrations in Ireland (including both new car sales and second-hand imports). The cost-effective ramp-up identified by the analysis underpinning the Climate Action Plan assumes circa 10-15% of total car registrations will be electric from 2021 – 2025. The significant ramp-up of EV registrations is assumed only after TCO-parity (Total cost of ownership) has been reached in the mid-2020s. Total cost of ownership includes both the purchase price and the on-going maintenance and running costs. The plan targets 50%-60% of car registrations to be electric vehicles from 2026 – 2029 and for all new car registrations to be EVs in 2030.

According to Bloomberg, “every year, that crossover point gets closer”. In 2017, Bloomberg NEF forecast that the crossover point would be in 2026. In 2018, the crossover point was calculated to be in 2024 and their latest analysis, completed in 2019, predicts that large EVs in the European Union will be cheaper than their fossil fuel equivalents by 2022. The findings show that EVs will reach TCO-parity with diesel and petrol engines by circa mid-2020s. This means that when a consumer factors in both up-front cost and on-going running cost, it will be as cheap to have an EV as a petrol/ diesel vehicle. Small passenger cars will reach cost parity with fossil fuel cars in 2022 and larger vehicles will follow in the middle of the 2020s.