The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) held a conference to showcase measures to decarbonise industry fleets to meet transport targets on Thursday, October 12th.

  • Transport emissions account for one third of Ireland’s total energy related CO2 emissions and unfortunately, they have been increasing in the past two years following the lifting of covid restrictions.
  • Transport in the public sector accounts for 26% of the total energy related greenhouse gas emissions from the sector.
  • Almost half of total transport emissions in 2022 can be attributed to the business and public sectors.

Representatives from public and business sectors attended the event which provided direction on how to decarbonise their fleet and meet their transport targets.

A key objective of the government’s transport policy to 2030 is to reduce the kilometres travelled by car by 20%. This includes both public and private sector. So far in 2023, SEAI has supported businesses to purchase 1,160 vehicles with grants that value over €4.5 million. Fleets can adopt the avoid, shift, improve approach to personal mobility whilst buying and driving battery electric when they can, and as commercial vehicle capability becomes available.

SEAI is helping to support each organisation by providing technical training, networking, and capital supports.

Conference attendees heard from keynote speakers covering topics including transport policy, legislative requirements, and best practice from across the public and private sector. Declan Meally, Director of Business and Public Sector and Transport at SEAI, opened the conference which started with presentations from leading experts, including:

  • John Knox, Climate Adaptation Research and Energy Division, Department of Transport
  • Aoife O'Grady, Head of Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI)
  • Olga Houlihan, Alternatively-Fuelled Heavy Duty Vehicles Purchase Grant Scheme, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)
  • Siobhán Hamilton, Smarter Travel Programme Manager, National Transport Authority (NTA)

The session covered the latest policy and legislative requirements with insights and guidance to assist in developing transport decarbonisation strategies.  This year SEAI has also been administering an Electric Vehicle Commercial Fleet Trial on behalf of ZEVI (Zero Emissions Vehicles Ireland).

Declan Meally, Director of Business and Public Sector and Transport at SEAI said:

“It is really encouraging to be able to see first-hand today the amazing range of electric and renewable vehicles that are now available and a real alternative that businesses are switching to. It was also great to see so many attendees who are working with SEAI and are interested in making the switch and being able to hear the positive stories from those pioneering businesses that are already well progressed on their sustainable journey”

Geraldine Herbert, Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent, held a lively discussion in the afternoon with Dr Euan McTurk, Consultant Battery Electrochemist, Blake Boland, Head of Communications at AA Ireland, and Derek Reilly from EV Review Ireland.

Geraldine Herbert said:

“The panel discussion provided great insights not only into the current EV marketplace and the challenges and opportunities, but also into future developments and the innovations currently taking place in battery technology, wireless and bidirectional charging and battery swapping"

Dr. Euan McTurk, Battery Electrochemist said:

 "The SEAI Decarbonising Transport event comfortably exceeded my expectations today.  The sheer quality of companies exhibiting, EVs on display, and highly engaged transport stakeholders in attendance made for enlightening panel sessions and presentations to a packed audience throughout the day, and highly productive networking too.  The knowledge shared today between new connections made will no doubt be the start of several exciting new developments in the effort to decarbonise Ireland's transport sector."