Ireland needs a rollout of EV charging infrastructure

James McCarthy. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
James McCarthy. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Ireland is facing EU fines of up to €6 billion for failing to reduce carbon emissions and to put a coherent strategy into place to achieve its target of having 50,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2020.

According to Nissan Ireland CEO, James McCarthy, the initial target set in 2010 was to have 230,000 EVs on our roads by 2020.

“It was re-set to 50,000 EVs in 2014 and a new target of 20,000 EVs is now proposed. How do you hit a moving target?” McCarthy asked at a Transport and Climate Summit in Dublin this week.

Nissan, which is Ireland’s biggest seller of EVs, said that cumulative sales of EVs in Ireland is unlikely to exceed 7,000 units by 2020 without the speedy delivery of a well-maintained national charging infrastructure with a sensible tariff structure and policies to encourage and reward EV adoption.

Policy-makers attending the conference heard that EVs accounted for 618 of the 218,000 new car sales and used imports into Ireland in 2016, along with a series of policy proposals from Nissan to put 20,000 EVs, like its zero emissions Nissan LEAF, onto Irish roads by 2020.

“The delivery of an electro mobility strategy is central to Ireland meeting its commitments to reduce CO2 emissions. The combined 2020 and 2030 costs to the State of failing to meet those commitments is estimated at between €3b and €6b,” said McCarthy.

“Ireland is failing utterly in its EV strategy and C02 emissions continue to increase as the population and car ownership grows. 20,000 EVs by 2020 is achievable if the government gets serious, takes action and stops making grand statements of intent,” he continued.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.