Monday 23 September 2019

'Who said there's a shortage?' - Shane Ross called out for Twitter 'gaffe' after posing up with electric car charger

"Who said that there is a shortage of chargers for electric cars? Look what I found in sunny Marlay Park this morning!".

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

MINISTER for Transport Shane Ross took a misguided dig at naysayers who argue that there are not enough charging points for electric cars across the country.

The Independent TD posted a now-deleted photo on Twitter of him posing next to a charging point, accompanied by the caption; "Who said that there is a shortage of chargers for electric cars? Look what I found in sunny Marlay Park this morning!".

Unfortunately for Mr Ross, a local group was quick to point out that, though the charging points in Marlay Park were installed at the beginning of May, they have still yet to be powered.

"Just so nobody gets stranded, please be aware that neither of the charge points in Marlay Park is yet operational," local group Dundrum Info wrote.

"They never have been. The nearest working charging point is Lidl Rathfarnham. Could Shane Ross please let us know when they will actually be turned on?"

"The charger was installed on May 7," they continued. "It has never been turned on."

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council responded to Independent.ie and confirmed that the charging point does not yet work.

They said that they are awaiting a Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) from the ESB so that the charging points can be powered.

"There have been issues connecting these points to the ESB Network," their Parks Section said.

"All work has been completed and we are awaiting an MPRN from the ESB so that the points can be powered up."

This afternoon, Mr Ross was forced into an embarrassing clarification after it was pointed out that the charging points have not yet been activated.

He said; "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 Ross has been vocal about targets set out in the Government’s recent Climate Action Plan since he bought his first electric vehicle (EV) this month.

The Dublin Rathdown TD called out Leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan, to "dispose of his diesel 2003," as the government plan on having 936,000 passenger electric vehicles (EV) on the road by 2030.

The latest Twitter gaffe from Minister Ross, which appears to have been since been deleted, comes as 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 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, Mr 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 Ross was contacted for comment and the Independent.ie are awaiting his response.

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