Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says the government needs to get serious about its commitment to promote the use of electric cars.  Despite a push towards e-vehicles, there are serious issues with charging points across Sligo and Leitrim, which is now beginning to deter people from considering an e-car as an option.

“Over the past few months I have been contacted by people in Manorhamilton, Collooney, Sligo and Carrick on Shannon who have flagged issues with the charging points in these areas, which are now permanently out of order.  While many people charge their car at home or at work, some need to top up if they are going on longer journeys and the fact that so many charging points are no longer working is a real problem”, explained Deputy Scanlon.

“I recently wrote to the Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, who forwarded my query to the ESB.  The ESB confirmed that one of the charge points in Carrick on Shannon is “no longer operational”, while the charge points in Collooney and Manorhamilton were part of the electric vehicle point pilot project and are “no longer supported”.  It also stated that unless additional funding is committed for infrastructure, the ESB would not be in a position to replace these units.

“As a result of signing up to the EU Renewable Energy Supply Directive, we need to dramatically increase the use of electric vehicles and this means ensuring that essential infrastructure is in place.  Currently, this is simply not the case.

“The Programme for Government states the government will establish a dedicated taskforce involving relevant government departments, agencies, industry and representative groups, to work to make Ireland a leader in the take-up of electric vehicles. It is blatantly reneging on this commitment.

“I have called on Minister Naughten to wake up to the problems facing e-vehicle users in the North West and to commit to a programme to oversee the installation or repair of charging points across the region, and indeed across the country.  We need to be actively promoting the use of e-vehicles, not making it more difficult for people to make the changeover to what should be an obvious alternative to petrol and diesel cars and vans”.