Over the next three years, the Irish government will invest €100 million in public charging infrastructure, as announced today by Irish Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan in the new Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure Strategy 2022 – 2025.
Home/apartment charging, residential neighbourhood charging (including new mobility hubs), destination charging, en route charging, and so on are all part of the plan, as is a pool of high-powered chargers every 60 km on the highway network.
With the help of an accompanying implementation plan, Ireland will be able to reach its national carbon reduction targets and reassure automobile owners that making the changeover to an electric vehicle is possible within the next three years.
Minister Ryan also revealed that the first real-world application of the concept, the Shared Island Sports Club Scheme, will launch on January 30th. With the support of this €15 million programme from the Shared Island Fund, sports clubs around the island of Ireland will be able to install electric vehicle charging points in local communities for parents dropping off their children or for members to use when they travel to the club. This is just one of several destination charging options. Other signs will be placed in highly trafficked areas such as parking lots of shopping centres and tourist attractions.
The new plan puts people first by identifying seven user groups (or “personas”) with varying requirements for transportation according to factors such as location (rural vs. urban) or dwelling style. The narrative then follows a single traveller from pre-trip preparation through post-trip decompression, simulating the experiences of real persons and groups. The plan provides guidance on how to implement concrete changes to the underlying infrastructure to improve EV drivers’ daily lives.
At the launch, Transportation Minister Eamon Ryan highlighted that while this is a national strategy, its success depends in part on the increased assistance and engagement that are planned with Local Authorities.
“The EV Strategy sets out a roadmap for creating an entirely new infrastructure across the country – one that people can have confidence in and one that will encourage more and more people to choose EVs. It’s happening already – EV sales are sky-rocketing – but the new infrastructure we are planning should take away concern or worry that people might have about access to charging points.
“In all of this, our Local Authorities will play a vital role. The key anchor for this Strategy is the specialist ZEVI unit. Within this unit, we have the expertise, the knowledge, the guidance, the resources that Local Authorities will need to be able to make the best decisions on the procurement, leasing and location of EV chargers.
“One of the initiatives I really want Local Authorities to embrace are the mobility hubs where people can charge their own cars, charge their e-bikes or e-scooters, or use a shared EV, for example. This is already proving to be a success in Finglas in Dublin (City Council), and I think it should be a standard feature in our towns and cities nationwide.”
Minister of State Jack Chambers said:
“This new Strategy underpins our commitment to support the public in making the switch to electric vehicles and presents the steps which will be taken to develop the necessary publicly funded infrastructure. As we move to EVs and more sustainable modes of travel, this will enable us to meet our national carbon reduction targets.”
Access to and construction of home charging infrastructure are rather well established, and as a result, over 80% of EV charging is currently done at homes. This strategy is centered on meeting the rising need for publicly supported charging infrastructure for EVs and LDVs.
In order to accommodate diverse users, the plan specifies the construction of four distinct types of charging infrastructure:
- electrical power supply for residences
- Charging at the destination Charging on the road while traveling
- Neighborhood residential charging aspires to mimic this charging option for those without a home charge port, while off-peak home charging will still be encouraged.
- Through the use of Destination Charging, which consists of high-powered charging stations placed along major highways, travelers will be able to top off their batteries without detouring from their journey.
The national sustainability mobility policy, the national climate action plan, and the EU’s Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation all have a role in shaping the approach.