Wednesday 18 September 2019

Missing the point: Ross posts picture of inactive car charger in latest gaffe

Unplugged: The photo Shane Ross uploaded to Twitter of him at a yet-to-be switched on charger
Unplugged: The photo Shane Ross uploaded to Twitter of him at a yet-to-be switched on charger
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

Transport Minister Shane Ross was forced into an embarrassing climbdown after he posted a picture of himself using an electric car charging point that has never worked.

Mr Ross, an Independent Alliance TD, originally posted and later deleted a photo on Twitter of him beside a charging point still partially covered in plastic in Marlay Park on Sunday with the caption: "Who said that there is a shortage of chargers for electric cars? Look what I found in sunny Marlay Park this morning!"

However, he subsequently deleted the tweet after it emerged the charging points in the park have not yet been activated - despite being installed since May.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said there had been issues connecting them to the ESB network.

"We are currently working on the charging point for electric vehicles in Marlay Park and it will be operational as soon as is possible," a spokesperson said.

Mr Ross issued a subsequent tweet stating: "Apologies to Richard Bruton for jumping the gun on today's new EV charger announcement! Here in Marlay Park this new charger is due to be operational in the coming weeks."

Mr Bruton announced an extra 1,000 EV charging points are to be rolled out across the country over the next five years yesterday.

Meanwhile, it has emerged Mr Ross reduced the cost of his new electric car by some €10,000 by using grants and tax rebates - but he's refusing to say whether he will still claim mileage.

Mr Ross purchased a new Hyundai Kona recently which retails at around €50,000.

However, the manufacturer's dealers apply various grants and exemptions which bring the cost down to around €39,000.

Mr Ross's spokesman confirmed "grants are applicable to those who purchase EVs".

He will have benefited from a €5,000 grant to purchase EVs from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Mr Ross is also entitled to a €5,000 exemption from vehicle registration tax.

Mr Ross's spokesman would not say if the minister would be availing of an SEAI grant of up to €600 towards the cost of a home charging unit.

It's also unclear if Mr Ross will continue to claim mileage, having claimed more than €31,000 since taking office.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section