High level of public car charging points now operational in Westmeath

The transition to Electric vehicles (EVs ) is being made easier thanks to a range of Government supports, Longford/Westmeath TD, Peter Burke has noted. However, Deputy Burke highlighted that more will need to be added by the ESB if we are to meet our European obligations.

“For a country of our size, we have one of the more comprehensive charge point networks currently in place across Europe. But undoubtedly, we will need more in the near future especially in more rural and sparsely populated areas where drivers currently have longer distances to travel in order to charge up. I have highlighted this to Minister Bruton in the case of Westmeath, and also faults with current chargers on our network.

“The latest numbers for Westmeath show we have 20 standard charge points and 3 fast chargers,” Deputy Burke remarked.

The majority of the existing network of publicly accessible charge points was rolled out by the ESB through its eCars programme.

“A real-time map showing the charge points, including the status and availability of the charge points, is available on the ESB’s website at www.esb.ie/ecars with the management of these charge points an operational matter for the ESB,” Deputy Burke commented.

The Longford/Westmeath TD noted the introduction of an EV grant to assist homeowners install an electric vehicle charge point on their property.

“This scheme provides a grant up to the value of €600 towards the purchase and installation of a home charger unit and is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI ).

“This Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, in conjunction with the SEAI, is currently working on how best to support the provision of greater levels of on-street public charging,” the Deputy continued.

The Fine Gael TD spoke of the ambitious target to have all cars and vans sold in Ireland zero emissions capable by 2030.

“In May 2017, the Government approved and published the National Policy Framework on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland 2017 to 2030. This policy framework sets an ambitious target that by 2030 all new cars and vans sold in Ireland will be zero emissions (or zero emissions capable ).

“Electric vehicles offer an increasingly realistic solution to the challenge of reducing the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy in transport and reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.

“SEAI is also offering grants of up to €5,000 for a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV ) or a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV ) purchased and registered in Ireland,” Deputy Burke concluded.

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