Fine Gael’s Colm Markey has said that Ireland should follow the German approach to electric vehicle charging infrastructure and ensure that charging points are available every 15 to 30 minutes by road.
The Midlands-North-West MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, made the call ahead of the publication of the National EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy 2022-2025.
Markey said a radical plan is needed to encourage people to go electric.
“The €1.8 billion ‘Deutschlandnetz’ scheme in Germany aims to ensure that a fast-charging point can be reached within a few minutes by road no matter where you are in the country. I believe Ireland should roll out an equally ambitious plan if we’re to reduce transport emissions by 50% by 2030. More public transport options are important but easily accessible EV charging points are key for those living in rural communities.
“The future of rural sustainability is electric vehicles and we need to do more to encourage people to make the switch. The Government should require each local authority to oversee the introduction of EV charging points in their respective areas as part of the plan”, he commented.
Recent research from the Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) found that the Northern and Western Region registered the lowest concentration of publicly available EV charge points per km2 on the island of Ireland.
Donegal recorded 99 publicly available EV charge points, the second highest number in the Northern and Western Region after Galway.
Leitrim, Longford, Monaghan and Offaly had the lowest number of EV chargers nationwide while 79% of residents surveyed in the Northern and Western region said they were “very unlikely” to buy a new EV within the next 12 months.
MEP Markey added, “EV infrastructure guidelines will be decided at EU level and the European Parliament has already backed charging stations every 60km on main roads by 2026. However, we need to go even further so that rural Ireland is not left behind and EV charging points are easily accessible for everyone, whether you live in Bundoran or Ballsbridge.
“It’s clear that a lack of infrastructure or ‘range anxiety’ is discouraging people in rural areas from buying electric cars and a more radical approach is needed in the National EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy.”