ESB has welcomed this morning's announcement of €10m in the first round of Government funding under the Climate Action Fund.
The ESB’s proposal for a national high-power electric vehicle charging network in Ireland is one of seven projects to share the €77m in funding that would leverage an additional €220m in private sector funding.
It is hoped the seven projects will reduce emissions by 200,000 tonnes a year.
The ESB's original car charging infrastructure is almost 10 years old and the firm says it needs to be expanded and upgraded to support the Government’s aim to de-carbonise transport in Ireland.
Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director Customer Solutions at ESB, said the funding is the most significant moment in the e-mobility story in Ireland.
She said: “Enabling the electrification of transport is a key part of ESB’s Brighter Future strategy to tackle climate change. We are committed to supporting the Government’s ambition to have over 500,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030.
"Critical to achieving this ambition will be the availability of a reliable, country-wide public charging network, that can facilitate the charging needs of significant numbers of electric vehicles, eliminate ‘range anxiety’ and enable seamless EV travel across the island of Ireland.”
Ms Sayers also outlined ESB’s Climate Action Fund proposal for a high power charging network across Ireland.
She said: “Our proposal is to install over 100 high-powered (150kW) chargers at key locations on the national road network. These chargers which will typically provide an additional driving range of 100km in six minutes.
"In addition, subject to planning permission and approval, we intend to replace 100 50kW fast chargers which can recharge a car to 80% in 25 minutes and to also refurbish up to 200 standard (22kW) chargers.”
The Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, said “this support will accelerate our transition to a low carbon transport future”.
He said: "It will ensure that the work of the Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce in expanding the range of incentives available for EV purchase and ownership will be supported by a modern, widely available charging network and the sharp growth seen in EV purchasing as a result will be sustained."
Minister Ross said he was also “pleased that the Fund will support Irish Rail’s proposed year-long trial of hybrid powering of intercity diesel trains".
He said: "If successful, this could be rolled out across the fleet. This, in parallel with a comprehensive trial of alternatively fuelled and retrofitted buses in Dublin and Cork that is set to begin next week, makes it an exciting time for greening our public transport fleets. Collectively, these trials will play an important role in providing the information we need to invest in the right technologies in order to move public transport to a cleaner and lower emission future.
Two other projects were awarded funding in order to further the greening of the freight sector.
Mr Ross said: "The eco-driving project in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford has the potential, if successful, to be scaled up nationally while the GRAZE biogas project intends to support gas-fuelled vehicle purchasing, making indigenously produced biogas an available and viable vehicle fuelling option for freight fleets in parts of Munster."
- Digital Desk