Extra 1,000 EV charging points to be added over five years
A thousand extra charging points are to be rolled out in a bid to increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads.
Up to €5m is to be spent to support the expansion of the network by local authorities over the next five years.
The Government has set a steep target of having 936,000 EVs on the road by 2030 as part of its Climate Action Plan to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
A shortage of charging points and "range anxiety" for long-distance journeys are among the concerns of motorists, the vast majority of whom have yet to abandon their petrol and diesel vehicles.
In recent weeks, Transport Minister Shane Ross was forced to insist the target can be achieved amid reports that industry figures have questioned if they are realistic.
Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton is today announcing the funding for the roll-out of 1,000 additional charging points.
He said: "We are investing in this network to give people confidence to make the switch. Now is the time to make the change."
Mr Bruton said the planned network, along with investment being made by the ESB in new high-speed charging, is "building a strong network that vehicle owners can trust".
He said there has been a "significant growth" in the number of EVs, with the total standing at more than 12,500 when plug-in hybrids are included.
However, the numbers are still far short of the Government's 2030 target.
The new charging points will help bring the number to 2,000 nationwide by 2025.
Local authorities will decide on the locations.
The Government has argued this will be enough to support a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road.
Mr Bruton said the Climate Action Plan will introduce measures to increase renewable electricity generation by 70pc over the next decade, which he said "will further improve the positive impact such vehicles have on the environment".
He said increasing the number of electric vehicles - particularly where they replace diesel cars - will also benefit air quality as they don't produce any fumes.