FREE NOW responds to the Climate Action Plan update from Government

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FREE NOW, Ireland’s leading multi-mobility app, welcomes the publication of the Climate Action Plan from Government and specifically the targets and commitments outlined for our national transport sector.

Fiona Brady, Head of Operations & Public Affairs for FREE NOW Ireland commented:FREE NOW welcomes the targets and commitments outlined by Government as part of its Climate Action Plan to support the development of a more sustainable transport network across Ireland. The 2030 target set by Government to reduce national transport carbon emissions by 42%-50% is ambitious; however, a united effort by transport providers across Ireland to accelerate electrification and encourage more multi-modal approaches to transport that are less reliant on private car ownership and journeys will be the key to success.  

FREE NOW is committed to enabling more people and businesses across Ireland to make greener transport decisions ahead of 2030 and beyond, as part of the national effort to build a more sustainable transport network. We have taken the following actions to this effect: 

  • Set targets of reaching a 50% electric fleet by 2025, and fully electric fleet by 2030. We are welcoming on average of 10-20 Battery Electric Vehicles to the FREE NOW fleet every week. 27% of FREE NOW taxis are Eco vehicles allowing our passengers to choose a more 
  • Launched our ECO booking option in Dublin last year following growing public demand (87% of our passengers are now worried about climate change & 58% are concerned there are too many private cars on Irish roads) 
  • Expanded our ECO bookings regionally in September 2021 across Galway, Limerick and Cork 
  • Facilitated a three-fold increase in Eco taxi requests in Dublin since last year, and a 100% increase in ECO requests regionally in September 2021

It is also crucial that taxi drivers are fully supported to make the switch to electric if we are to meet our emissions reduction set by Government, and FREE NOW has committed to the following to help drivers in this regard:

  • Development of a dedicated EV expert switch team that works closely to support drivers providing them with the important information and educational resources they need to make the switch.
  • Invested 6 million euro in the launch of our EV home charging fund in 2021 for taxi drivers to facilitate purchase of home chargers 
  • Offering every driver who successfully avails of the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) Home Charging Grant Scheme an opportunity to save an additional €600 through the FREE NOW EV Match scheme to ensure that drivers can obtain a free home charging unit.

The support of Government is also imperative to enable more taxi drivers to go electric – and in this vein, we welcome some of the transport focused actions outlined in today’s plan, including, the development of a national EV charging infrastructure strategy across urban and non-urban areas. In 2022, we welcome the continuation of a grant scheme for taxi drivers as we have already seen how effective the 2021 eSPSV grant was in helping FREE NOW drivers to transition to EV. Financial supports like this will make all the difference in building a more sustainable network of electric taxis across Ireland as we move forward towards the 2030 deadline.”