A Greystones councillor has welcomed the launch of a programme which will see fast-charging electric vehicle points installed at sports clubs throughout the district. The €15m Shared Island Sports Club EV Charging Scheme will support the roll-out of publicly accessible, fast-charging for sports clubs and communities across the island of Ireland, in line with the recently launched National EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy.
Independent councillor Stephen Stokes said, "This proposal make sense. We need to diversify electric vehicle charging points. People can charge their vehicles while they are training or playing matches. It is especially helpful if people have driven a long way to participate in an away match, whether this is a car or bus."
When launching the scheme, Minister Eamon Ryan noted the benefits of the sports club scheme in the wider switch to electrification of transport:
“So many of us are frequent visitors to our local sports clubs, whether that’s dropping off our children for training or games, helping out or playing sports ourselves. It makes perfect sense then that we are starting our destination EV charging plans by providing these grants for sports clubs.
“Ireland is in a strong position to move to transport electrification. Most of our journeys are short and most of our charging is done at home, but it is important to make sure that we also have a strong public charging network in place for those without access to home charging, or for anyone who needs to top-up their charge when out and about.”
Councillor Lourda Scott praised the scheme, saying, “This excellent initiative will plug Greystones MD into the future of electric vehicles and help us progress away from our reliance on fossil fuels. Local clubs are already at the heart of the community, so it will be enormously helpful for people to be able to charge their vehicles while they are out training with or supporting their club.
"This scheme will make electric vehicles an option for many people who wouldn’t have considered them viable in the past, and I’m delighted to see this opportunity being offered. This is a good example of how communities can be involved in practical ways in working towards a sustainable future.”
However, Cllr Stokes sounded a note of caution about the level of funding involved, fearing the €15m allocation will not be enough.
"I envisage that this will be used up quickly. Of course it's worth seeing how this works out as an investment. That said the government should plan to be way more ambitious to halve transport emissions by 2030.”
He also reiterated his belief that the electric vehicle purchase grant should not be cut. "France raised their maximum electric vehicle grant to €7,000 in January 2023. Meanwhile our government is planning to slash the electric vehicle grant, which is currently €5,000. The Government is going down the wrong road with this. I urge them to re-consider. We need to do everything we can to reduce emissions."
This is the first destination scheme launched as part of the government’s EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy and will be followed by destination schemes for commercial and public sector locations, as well as by a neighbourhood charging scheme which will support local authorities to provide charging for areas where home charging is not possible.