Aside from the Biofuels Obligation Scheme, the second aspect of a twin approach in meeting our EU target for the use of renewable energy in transport is to encourage the accelerated development and usage of electric vehicles.
EU policy also includes the deployment of electric vehicles as part of an alternative fuels strategy to break the over-dependence of European transport on oil. Electric vehicles offer an increasingly realistic solution to the challenge of reducing the transport sector’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions and reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.
The EU Directive on the Deployment of Alternative Fuels aims to ensure the build-up of alternative refuelling points across Europe, including a common plug for recharging electric vehicles. Member States must set and make public their targets and present their national policy frameworks by end-2016. The Directive requires Member States to set targets for recharging points accessible to the public, to be built by 2020, to ensure that electric vehicles can circulate at least in urban and suburban environments.
The Electric Vehicle Grant Scheme was introduced in April 2011 to incentivise and support the early deployment of electric vehicles in Ireland. Grants of up to €5,000 are available. These grants are in addition to the VRT reliefs of up to €5,000 which apply to electric vehicles.
Further information on the Electric Vehicles Grant Scheme is available at SEAI
The ESB, through its ‘ecars’ programme is continuing to roll out publicly accessible charging infrastructure and domestic charge points. Home chargers are currently supplied free of charge to any person qualifying for a grant under the EV Grant Scheme.