* To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the extent to which electrically powered motor vehicles have increased in numbers and/or are likely to do so in the coming years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 16th June, 2015.
(1356 Received on 11th June, 2015.)
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White)
The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets all Member States a binding target that at least 10% of the energy used in the transport sector must come from renewable sources by 2020. Ireland aims to meet this target mainly through the use of sustainable biofuels with electric vehicles also making a contribution.
The Electric Vehicle Grant Scheme supports, through grants of up to €5,000, the early deployment of electric vehicles in Ireland. These grants are in addition to the VRT reliefs of up to €5,000 which apply to electric vehicles. According to information furnished to my Department by the Central Statistics Office, 72 electric vehicles (EV) were registered in Ireland in 2013, 238 were registered in 2014 and, in the first five months of this year, 312 have been registered.
My Department expects that the numbers of EVs in Ireland will continue to increase. In this regard, Ireland’s third National Energy Efficiency Action Plan to 2020, which is available my Department’s website, estimates that approximately 50,000 EVs could form part of the transport fleet in 2020. However, the extent to which electric vehicles are adopted in the short-to-medium term will depend on a range of factors including, inter alia, the strength of the economy, the overall numbers of new cars being purchased, the cost of purchasing and running electric vehicles compared to internal combustion engine comparators, and the number of different electric vehicle models available to purchase.