<H1>One in 10 cars to be electric by 2020, says Government</H1>
<H1></H1>26/11/2008 - 13:09:06
A quarter of a million cars on Irish roads will be electric-powered in just 12 years, under ambitious plans unveiled today.
The Government said it will bring in tax breaks and develop a system of street charging points for the low carbon vehicles.
Energy Minister Eamon Ryan and Transport Minister Noel Dempsey have also vowed to pour €1m into a nationwide campaign encouraging people to switch over from petrol and diesel.
“All journeys start with one step. This Government initiative is an important step in transforming our current unsustainable travel and transport patterns,” said Mr Dempsey.
Under the plans, 10% of all cars, vans and trucks on the Republic’s roads - around 250,000 vehicles according to the official forecast – will be electric-run by 2020.
To achieve this, a new tax incentive is to be introduced which will allow businesses to write off the full cost of an electric vehicle against tax under the Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme.
The national energy agency Sustainable Energy Ireland will also begin a one million euro project researching, developing and the demonstrating the vehicles across the state.
A National Task Force will make recommendations on how the country’s infrastructure needs to be adapted for the roll-out of the vehicles, including plans for street charging points.
And consumers will be issued with a “buyer’s guide” and a “cost of ownership calculator” in an attempt to persuade them to change to the greener alternative.
“Ireland’s transport future must include smarter, more sustainable travel choices,” said Mr Dempsey.
“It will help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, improve energy security and lower our transport emissions.”
Mr Ryan said the plans mirror similar developments in Israel, Denmark and Portugal and would help the economy recover.
“This year Ireland will send over €6bn out of the country to pay for fossil fuels,” he said.
“I want to bring this money back into the Irish economy and fuel our transport fleet with Irish renewable electricity.”
But Simon Coveney, Fine Gael’s energy spokesman, branded the plans unambitious and inadequate.
“While other countries such as Israel and Denmark are planning for the complete replacement of car fleets with electric vehicles, or at least a high percentage future, here in Ireland we are proposing a mere 10%,” he said.
“A massive shift over the next 15 years from petrol or diesel fuelled engines to electric vehicles is both achievable and exciting, as a way of dramatically reducing emissions in the transport sector.”