Naughton welcomes rollout of public charge points

The Government has announced funding to support the rollout of up to 1,000 new on-street public charge points for electric vehicles over the next five years as part of its Climate Action Plan.

The move has been welcomed by Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton, who is the chairperson of the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee, whose report informed the government’s environmental strategy.

The new scheme will be administered by local authorities, and will see the number of public charge points in Galway significantly increase. At present, there are over 30 on-street charge points in the city and county.

“This is a necessary step towards facilitating our target of having 936,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030,” explained Deputy Naughton.

“We need to have the requisite infrastructure in place to support that volume of electric vehicles if that ambitious target is to be achieved.”

The Galway West TD said that a network of high-speed chargers is necessary in order to give people the confidence to make the switch to electric cars, and that demand is already growing, with 5,000 extra electric vehicles on the road this year alone.

Under the scheme, local authorities will receive 75 percent of the cost of installing 200 charge points each year for the next five years. Separately, new regulations will require non-domestic buildings with over 20 parking spaces to install charging facilities.

Grants are also available for the installation of chargers in homes for people who purchase new or second-hand electric cars under the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant.

Deputy Naughton said that there is now a range of supports and incentives to encourage car buyers to make the switch, and it is envisaged that up to 40 percent of vehicles will be either hybrid or fully electric models by 2030.

“The Climate Action Plan isn’t equivocal or aspirational; it is targeted and it is specific,” she explained.

“From an environmental perspective, we don’t have time for trial-and-error or uncertain decisions. The plan outlines urgent measures that are required to sustain a sustainable future for our environment.

“This latest scheme is part of that strategy, which will remove another obstacle for prospective electric-car buyers and will ultimately have a positive and measurable impact on our air quality,” said Deputy Naughton.

“There will be a network of around 2,000 reliable public charge points nationwide by 2025, which will be sufficient to support a significant increase in the number of such vehicles on our roads.

“The climate-change can has been kicked down the road for too long, and I am proud that this Government is the one that has taken its responsibility seriously and taken drastic action to save our environment,” added the Fine Gael TD.

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