The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, announced a suite of grants and initiatives which will make it easier for people and businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) during the launch of Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland. The new dedicated Office will oversee Ireland’s transition to zero emission vehicles.
In total, Minister Ryan announced four new grant schemes and initiatives. Among them is a new apartment charging grant which will make it easier for people who live in apartments and multi-unit dwellings to charge an EV. He also announced an expansion to the home charger grant which will enable any tenants and homeowners to apply for a grant, whether they own an EV or not. This can also be used for visitor use or at rented accommodation.
A new trial to promote and encourage the electrification of the commercial fleet was also announced, giving businesses the opportunity to test an EV free of charge for at least three months. For sports clubs across the island of Ireland, there will be new funding to install a network of publicly accessible chargers for members and visitors. A full outline of the new grants and initiatives is provided below.
Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland’s principal focus is to enable the delivery of the ambitious electric vehicle targets under the Climate Action Plan. To ensure a fair and equitable transition to large scale zero emission vehicle use, the full range of needs for people and businesses across Ireland must be met, including ensuring a just transition for those in rural, Gaeltacht and Islands area. The existing and future EV charging infrastructure network must be accessible, safe and secure, benefiting communities and serving the needs of all citizens, including older people and people with disabilities. As well as infrastructure, a range of policy measures that could increase EV uptake will be considered ensuring, for example, wider access to EVs across society.
Irish people are increasingly moving to electric vehicles. There has been an increase in the purchase of EVs in Ireland so far this year, with 21% of new cars licenced being electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles compared with 14% at this time last year. The Government’s EV target is a critical solution to reducing our transport emissions and is a key part of the strategy which also includes measures to reduce car journeys, through improved public and active transport networks.
Speaking about Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland, Minister Ryan said, “we have to transform the way we get around our country so that we do not rely on expensive, carbon emitting and polluting fossil fuels. One of the ways we can help decarbonise our transport sector is by accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles, both passenger cars and the commercial fleet. This new Office will be at the heart of this transformation, charged with supporting consumers, the public sector and businesses to continue to make the switch to electric vehicles and to lead on the delivery of our ambitious target under the Climate Action Plan 2021 to have 945,000 electric vehicles in the Irish fleet by 2030.”
“We are already seeing that there is an appetite for this switch with the increases in the purchase of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles over the past year. I hope that the grants and initiatives we are launching today, along with Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland, will make it easier for people and businesses to continue to make the switch and then to be able to charge their cars, no matter where they live.”