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19 May 2022

Extra 100,000 charge points needed to reach Ireland's electric vehicle targets

Extra 100,000 charge points needed to reach Ireland's electric vehicle targets

Ireland will need an extra 100,000 charge points if it is to reach its electric vehicle targets by 2030, a new report from the motoring industry outlines. 

A key environmental policy to have almost a million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2030 will be a huge challenge unless the Government incentivises and supports dealing with the oldest polluting cars, according to a new report released by Arup and economist Jim Power on reducing light fleet carbon emissions to achieve Government targets.

The charging infrastructure nationwide will also have to be increased significantly.

The independent report which was commissioned for The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) stated that in order to deal with this older legacy fleet, help will be required for those with the least economic capacity to make the biggest change. This requires more investment, not just at the top end of the market, to remain fair and equitable if Ireland is to provide all commuters with viable transport options.

According to the report, of equal importance is the urgent need to create a second-hand electric vehicle fleet.

The age profile of the national fleet has led to the continued use of older polluting vehicles with 31.1% of vehicles being Euro 4 (pre-2011) or older (700,429 cars).

Analysis within the report shows that removal of all these cars and replacing them with EVs would reduce carbon emissions by 875,000 tonnes.

This is the equivalent of planting over 1.1 billion trees which would almost cover the entirety of Co Clare. 

Ireland, which is a right-hand drive market, has a slower and smaller supply chain than most other European markets, with around 120,000 new car sales per annum (pre-Covid-19) and an average car fleet age of 9 years (2021).

With the majority of motorists being used vehicle buyers there are currently three times as many used vehicles being sold as new vehicles, with an insignificant second-hand electric vehicle market. 

The sale of electric vehicles has faced a number of challenges including supply disruptions due toCovid-19, Brexit and the global chip supply shortage. 

Ireland would need 100,000 public chargers, with all new being fast chargers to serve the proposed 1 million EVs here by the same date. 

Currently there are 1,900 chargers installed at 800 sites across the island of Ireland and with the current number of 47,000 EVs on Irish roads the number of charging points falls far short of the 4,700 realistically needed to serve these, according to the report.
Gillian Fanning SIMI President said: “The Irish Motor Industry is a key partner of the Irish Government in seeking to reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicles. All stakeholders as outlined in this report have a responsibility to collaborate in delivering charging infrastructure, incentives and education so that consumers who are at the heart of this plan and critical to its success have the confidence to make the change to zero emission vehicles in greater numbers.”  

Brian Cooke, Director General SIMI added: "We need to support all motorists to trade up to newer less polluting cars. This has two clear benefits; it can deliver an immediate reduction in overall emissions; and it can shorten the journey time for all owners into an electric vehicle.

"In this context, electrifying specific fleet sectors can help in the creation of an affordable strong used EV market, removing the barriers to entry for many, and accelerate the electrification of the Irish car market".

Terry Lee-Williams, ARUP report’s co-author of the independent report for SIMI said "Confidence of buyers that they can charge their car when they want to will largely determine the speed of consumer adoption, so government must stimulate charger availability ahead of people buying vehicles, until the market matures".

Co-author, economist Jim Power said "Ireland is a relatively small right-hand-drive economy and has a slower and smaller supply chain with around 120,000 new car sales per annum (pre-Covid-19) and an average car fleet age of 9 years (2021). The Industry faces numerous challenges global supply chain issues, used car supply scarcity, Brexit disruptions, rising motoring costs.

"For Ireland to achieve close to the 2030 target both economic and financial fundamentals need to be present. Government support is essential in creating this business environment, through EV grant subsidies, incentives and supporting infrastructure investment which will encourage consumers to take action and expedite sales," he said. 

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