Funding approval for On-Street Charge Points for Electric Vehicles

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The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. has announced the first approvals for funding under the SEAI’s on-street public charge point scheme for Local Authorities. These are the first grants under this particular scheme to roll out public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across counties and towns in Ireland.

More and more people in Ireland are making the switch to Electric Vehicles. To date in 2021, applications for EV purchase grants are at 305% of 2020 equivalents. The Climate Action Plan, committed to a target of 936,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030, with an updated Plan to be published shortly. While the vast majority of EV owners in Ireland charge their vehicles at home, providing on street chargers will help encourage more take up of EVs by those who don’t have a home charger, as well as addressing driver concerns about range anxiety.

Announcing the funding, Minister Ryan said: “I am delighted to announce that Louth County Council and Dublin City Council have been allocated funding under the local authority public charge point scheme. This funding will see an additional 29 charge points rolled out for public use. There is significant growth in the number of electric vehicles with EVs making up 12% of new car sales from January to May 2021. As more people are making the switch to clean and efficient electric vehicles, it is important that infrastructure keeps ahead of demand. I encourage other local authorities to follow Louth and Dublin’s lead so we can grow this scheme all over the country”

The announcement is part of broader strategy for EV infrastructure which will be led by the Department of Transport to ensure sufficient public infrastructure is in place to meet the increasing demand.

On-street and public charge points allow those who do not have a driveway access to a charge point, removing a barrier to the uptake of electric vehicles. Charge points may be located where public parking is provided on-street or where Local Authorities identify a suitable area in their jurisdiction.

This support complements the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant, a grant of up to €600 currently available to purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles to support the installation of chargers in homes with own off-street parking.  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 in the coming months.

Capital supports of 75% of the cost up to maximum of 5,000 euro per charge point is provided to Local Authorities under this scheme. 

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland manage the scheme and the Local Authorities must operate the charge points subject to the terms and conditions of the scheme.

Three applications have been approved for funding. Louth County Council have applied for funding for 20 charge points with Dublin City Council applying for 9 charge points under two applications. 

ESB rollout – Currently mostly chargers are operated by the ESB

€10 million was committed from the Climate Action Fund (CAF) to support ESB investment in the charging network and this has leveraged a further €10 million investment from ESB. This intervention alone will result in:

– 90 additional high power chargers, each capable of charging two vehicles

– 52 additional fast chargers, which may replace existing standard chargers

– 264 replacement standard chargers with more modern technology and with each consisting of two charge points

The project is due to be completed in 2022.

Further details on ESB charge points nationwide can be found at https://esb.ie/ecars/charge-point-map and further details on this project can be found at https://esb.ie/ecars/our-network/network-upgrades.

Government supports

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

  • Up to €5,000 in grant support for the private purchase of a new fully electric car (M1) and up to €3,800 for the purchase of a new electric van (N1) by a company or where a motor dealership is purchasing a demonstration vehicle. Purchase grants up to a maximum value of €2,500 also applies to Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
  • Benefit-in-kind tax relief for battery electric vehicles;
  • Grant support towards the full cost of installation of a home charger up to a maximum of €600;
  • Lowest rate of motor tax (€120 per annum) for battery electric vehicles and generally low rates of motor tax for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; and
  • 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).
  • Grants of up to €12,500 to support the purchase of electric vehicles in the taxi/hackney/limousine sector
  • €15 million to support taxi and hackney drivers in scrapping their older vehicles and replacing them with electric alternatives.
  • Accelerated Capital Allowances for businesses;