The recent increase in sales of electric cars is a promising move in the right direction, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Richard Bruton said: “Today’s figures from the CSO show that the swing to electric driving is gathering pace.
“Almost 20% of new car sales last year were fully electric or hybrid. The share for such cars within used imports going on our roads for the first time also hit a record high of 11%.
“These increases represent an explosion on the pattern just two years ago. In particular, plug-in cars trebled their share.
“The trend is in fact gathering pace, with the share of electric vehicles in the past two months twice what they were earlier in the year.
“This is really good news for our Climate battle. Each fully electric car removes 80% of the fossil fuel related carbon dioxide, and a plug-in hybrid halves it.”
The Chairperson of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party continued: “This year alone, a further 11,000 plug-in cars have taken to the road and will need access to charging points.
“This trend could be accelerated if we moved rapidly to roll out the public charging network. Over half of drivers would consider an electric, but one big barrier is ‘range anxiety’.
“The plan to roll out public chargers has stalled. We now have 800 public chargers. If they were all working, they could deliver 80,000 kilometres of charge per hour.
“Plans launched in 2019 aimed to raise that to 350,000, with 1400 new chargers deployed. However, the progress has been very slow.
“Only 10% of the ESB chargers are in place, while none of the 1,000 local authority chargers have been deployed at all. Indeed, most local authorities have made no move to draw down the monies available under the scheme.
“The impact of Covid has no doubt been a factor, but public authorities must act now to ensure that our recovery is green and sustainable. I am pursuing this with all the bodies concerned.
“One thing Covid has taught us is to place a higher value on the environment we enjoy. We need to act now to protect it for the future. It is time for a concerted drive by national and local authorities together to back the drive to electric,” Deputy Bruton concluded