Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan has said that would-be electric car owners are being turned off from making the switch to electric by the lack of reliability and availability of EV charging points across the county and State.

Deputy Moynihan was commenting after raising the issue with the Minister responsible for meeting Ireland’s e-car targets, Denis Naughten in the Dáil.

“The Minister honestly thinks that the progress to date has been good enough. The most recent target of 20,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2020 just isn’t going to happen now. There are currently 5400 EVs on the road, and at best, the best the Government will commit to is 8000 by 2020.

“There has been a continually backsliding on these targets over the past number of years. Originally, it was proposed that there would be 50,000 electric vehicles, then it was reduced to 20,000 and now it looks like it will be a maximum off 8000.

“One of the reasons why more motorists aren’t making the move is simple to me. For one, there aren’t enough charging points along the road network, and in particular, fast charging points.

“Secondly, the charging points that have been put in place are either slow or broken. Far too often, I have seen charging points out of action. It took six months for the charging point in Macroom to be fixed last year. It’s just not good enough.

“Until we address range anxiety i.e. the feeling that your EV will run out of battery before you get home, we won’t see large number of motorists making the move to electric.

“Charging points need to be rolled out across both public and private car parks ensuring that motorists feel confident in being able to access a charging point wherever they are on their journey.

“Unless we dramatically increase the use of EVs, Ireland will fail to meet its EU target of having 10% of its transport energy coming from renewable sources by 2020, and will be subject to significant fines.

“Ending range anxiety is one part of the solution. Another must be incentivising the switch. Last year, Fianna Fáil called for toll and parking charges to be waived for owners of electric vehicles. The 0% BIK rate for 12 months for EVs doesn’t go far enough. We called for a five year 0% rate to help make moving to electric more cost efficient.

“Minister Naughten is failing to do what is needed to make the move to electric. We need to see our overall transport emissions cut and greening our private and public transport fleet is one sure way of helping in that endeavour,” concluded Moynihan.