New agreement to incentivise EV uptake in Ireland
The agreement includes the development of a nationwide electric car charging infrastructure by ESB, the supply of electric cars by the Renault-Nissan Alliance from 2011, as well as government policies and incentives that will support the widespread adoption of such vehicles.
Under the deal, the Irish government will offer a €5,000 grant to buyers of electric vehicles, which will also be exempt from Vehicle Registration Tax.
In addition, the ESB will provide the charging infrastructure in the homes of the new owners of electric cars. The utility company will roll out 3,500 charge points nationwide by December 2011. The rollout has already begun in Dublin and charging points willalso be installed in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick. ESB also plans to install 30 fast charge points across Ireland by the end of 2011, with nine expected to be set up by the end of this year.
Nissan will supply its all-electric, five-seater LEAF hatchback to Ireland in early 2011 while Renault will launch its light commercial electric vehicle, Kangoo ZE, later in the year. By the end of 2011, Renault will also supply 100 pre-production Fluence ZEs for a pilot project in Ireland prior to the model going on sale in 2012.
The Irish government has said that its target is for 10% of Ireland's vehicles to be electric by 2020 and that the new agreement with Nissan-Renault will see 2,000 cars on Irish roads by 2011.
Eric Basset, managing director of Renault Ireland, said: "Due to its relatively small size, Ireland is ideally suited for the introduction of electric vehicles and as a pilot for the rest of Europe, As the population of Ireland is predominantly centered around the major urban areas of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford, and with the average vehicle covering approximately 75km per day, electric vehicles are ideally suited to address the every day needs of both private and business use.'