Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, launched the new Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy 2022 – 2025, which will see €100 million spent on public charging infrastructure over the next three years.
The strategy presents an ambitious pathway and practical steps for delivery of a national EV charging network which will see a pool of high-powered chargers every 60 km on our motorway network as well as home/apartment charging, residential neighbourhood charging (including new mobility hubs), destination charging and en-route charging.
An accompanying implementation plan sets out a road map for the delivery of Ireland’s EV charging infrastructure over the next 3 years, assuring car users of the feasibility of switching to an EV, and enabling Ireland to meet our national carbon reduction targets.
Minister Ryan also announced the new Shared Island Sports Club Scheme, which will open on January 30th, as the first practical roll-out of the strategy. This €15m scheme from the Shared Island Fund will help sports clubs install electric vehicle charge points in local communities across the island of Ireland, so when people drop off kids or go to the club for their own use, they can charge their car at the same time. This will be just one form of destination charger. Others will be installed in locations like retail centres or tourism spots for example – places where people may be driving to.
The new strategy takes a people-first approach, focusing on seven user groups (or personas) illustrating different transport needs across different parts of the country both rural and urban, or in different housing types, for example. It then follows an individual’s journey from the planning stages to their return home, mirroring the needs of real people and groups. The strategy gives an insight into practical infrastructure adjustments that will make their EV driving experience easier.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that while this was a national plan, its success also hinges on the enhanced supports and collaboration planned with Local Authorities, stating, “the EV Strategy sets out a roadmap for creating an entirely new infrastructure across the country – one that people can have confidence in and one that will encourage more and more people to choose EVs. It’s happening already – EV sales are sky-rocketing – but the new infrastructure we are planning should take away concern or worry that people might have about access to charging points.”
“In all of this, our Local Authorities will play a vital role. The key anchor for this Strategy is the specialist ZEVI unit. Within this unit, we have the expertise, the knowledge, the guidance, the resources that Local Authorities will need to be able to make the best decisions on the procurement, leasing and location of EV chargers. One of the initiatives I really want Local Authorities to embrace are the mobility hubs where people can charge their own cars, charge their e-bikes or e-scooters, or use a shared EV, for example. This is already proving to be a success in Finglas in Dublin (City Council), and I think it should be a standard feature in our towns and cities nationwide.”
Minister of State Jack Chambers TD said, “this new Strategy underpins our commitment to support the public in making the switch to electric vehicles and presents the steps which will be taken to develop the necessary publicly funded infrastructure. As we move to EVs and more sustainable modes of travel, this will enable us to meet our national carbon reduction targets.”
Currently, the majority of EV charging (c.80%) is done at home, and access to and installation of home charging infrastructure is relatively well established. The focus of this Strategy is the provision of publicly funded charging infrastructure for electric cars and light-duty vehicles, the demand for which will grow as EV uptake increases.
To support individual needs, the strategy lays out four main categories of charging infrastructure to be developed:
- Home/apartment charging
- Residential neighbourhood charging
- Destination charging
- Motorway/en-route charging
Off peak home charging will continue to be encouraged while neighbourhood residential charging aims to replicate this charging option for people without access to a home charge point. Destination Charging, high powered charge points along core motorways, will facilitate tops-ups enroute.
The strategy is influenced by a range of national and international policies including the national sustainability mobility policy, national climate action plan and the EU’s Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation.