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Not one e-car charge point put in despite 1,000 being promised

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There are 750 charge points nationwide

There are 750 charge points nationwide

There are 750 charge points nationwide

None of the 1,000 extra public charging points for electric vehicles announced by the Government more than a year ago have been installed.

Only two local authorities, one being Dublin City Council, have even applied for funding to provide the facilities under the €5m grant scheme set up in Aug- ust last year.

The scheme aimed to have 200 new charging points installed each year, with 1,000 in place within five years as part of the plan to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

Climate Action Minister Eamon Ryan said he was disappointed with the take-up of the scheme and urged TDs to encourage their local councils to avail of it.

Challenges

His department said Covid-19 had caused delays.

"There have also been challenges as to how local government might adopt a coordinated approach on the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure," it said.

The Irish EV Owners Association said, however, that public charging points were "extremely important" both for existing car owners and for sending out the message that motorists would be supported if they made the switch from fossil fuel vehicles to electric.

"It's massively disappointing that a year has passed and we're not seeing much more on-street charging," said chairman Simon Acton.

"The big challenge is to get to a situation where people can get an electric car without having to have their own dedicated parking space and charging point. That's particularly important somewhere like Dublin."

There are 750 public charging points around the country, and the vast majority are the standard slow-charging kind.

The ESB is working to replace the standard points with new, faster technology, and more fast-charge points and high-power charge points for newer model cars are also being rolled out at service stations and other locations.

However, the local auth- ority scheme, which provides 75pc of the cost of charging points, capped at €5,000 per point, was set up to bring charging points into local communities and neighbourhoods where householders do not have their own driveway or a dedicated parking space.

"It's still the case that most EV owners charge overnight in their driveway. If we're going to see EVs become the norm, we need them not to be an option only for a niche group," Mr Acton said.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), which runs the grant scheme, said only Louth County Council and Dublin City Council had applied.

Waiting

Their applications, for a total of 24 charging points, were being processed.

Ten other local authorities had sought application forms but had not yet returned them.

"SEAI understands that some authorities are undertaking an analysis of the market and the other authorities may be waiting to see the outcome of that study before deciding how to proceed," the authority said.

Electrification of transport is a major plank of the Government's climate action strategy as vehicles are responsible for 20pc of gas emissions.

However, the aim of having one million EVs on the road by 2030 looks increasingly unlikely. Sales are increasing slowly, but there are only about 18,000 in use.