Objectives of the Electric Vehicles Grant Scheme
Ireland’s target under the Renewable Energy Supply Directive is to ensure that 10% of its transport energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. This allows inclusion of transport energy supplied from liquid biofuels, biogas and renewable electricity resources. It is likely that liquid biofuels will be the strongest contributor to achieving this 2020 target. As the volume of Electric Vehicles (EVs) begins to grow in the Irish market, we will start to see a significant rise in the contribution of wind power in transport.
Ireland has substantial resources of wind and ocean energy accessible to it. By storing these intermittent supplies of wind and ocean power, highly efficient EVs therefore offer Ireland the opportunity to supply a significant proportion of its transport energy needs from its own energy resources while substantially reducing the associated CO2 footprint. This has the potential to significantly displace imports of Petrol and Diesel to this county.
More information on the potential energy and CO2 benefits of EVs to Ireland is available in SEAI’s 2050 Road Map for EVs which can be found at the following location:
It should be noted that with intercity distances of 250km between Cork and Dublin for instance, the geographical scale of Ireland is well suited to the current and future range of EVs available to consumers. The average temperatures in Ireland generally remains mild all year round compared with the significant seasonal variations experienced in Eastern and Northern European countries. This mild temperature climate is also very favourable to the operation of EVs.
Advances in Lithium battery technology has led to the current development of passenger electric vehicles by mainstream suppliers such as Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. With ranges of up to 185km on a single domestic overnight charge and fuel cost savings of up to 70% based on night time electricity prices, the fleet of vehicles emerging will have significant appeal to consumers.
To make Ireland an early adopter of this technology and in order to achieve this target, the Government is now offering a grant together with VRT relief for purchasers of Battery Electric Vehicles or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. In addition, ESB will be providing free connection points in the home of each of the first 2,000 vehicles purchased. For more information on available charging points visit: http://www.esb.ie/main/sustainability/ESB-ecars.jsp.