Government moves forward with plans for electric vehicles
Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Irish government, ESB and Renault-Nissan in relation to electric motor vehicles.
Energy Minister Eamon Ryan today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Irish government, ESB and Renault-Nissan in relation to electric motor vehicles. Under the arrangement, Renault-Nissan will provide electric cars for sale in Ireland by 2011, while the ESB will provide the infrastructure necessary to support the daily use of electric vehicles.
The memorandum will also provide the state and ESB with a range of previously confidential information on developments in electric vehicle technology. The agreement does not preclude the government or ESB from entering similar arrangements with other car manufacturers. Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is currently conducting a €1 million pilot scheme to assess the suitability of Ireland for electric vehicles, and to demonstrate and test various infrastructural systems.
The report of the electric vehicles working group will be brought to government in April, and will set out a road map for a number of the separate issues involved in the deployment of electric vehicles. These will include infrastructure, enterprise opportunities and the role of captive fleets. There are a number of electric vehicles currently on sale in Ireland and a number of conversions of existing vehicles are also available.“This historic agreement”, said Minister Ryan “is proof of government’s firm intention to act on the electrification of transport. Some months ago, I announced the government electric vehicles target of 10 per cent by 2020. Today’s memorandum of understanding will help us not only realise, but surpass this target. We are well on our way and our streets will see the change very shortly."
“In November, we sent a call to the market that Ireland was ‘open for business’ with electric cars. Our call has been answered by Renault-Nissan and I’d like to welcome them to the Irish market with this new product. Today we sign, what I hope will be the first of many agreements with interested companies."
ESB chief executive Padraig McManus described today’s development as an “an opportunity for Ireland to demonstrate its leadership in the green revolution, including in electric transport."
“ESB has set out its plans to become carbon-neutral by 2035 and carbon-neutral electricity will power an emissions-free transport system. ESB will roll out a charging network to support the development. We will guarantee open access to all electricity suppliers and car manufacturers and can ensure adherence to the strictest safety standards for the recharging points."
"The roll-out of electric vehicles will provide major employment opportunities in a number of areas,” he said.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Andrew Palmer, corporate vice president of the Nissan Motor Company, said the Renault-Nissan alliance looks forward to a successful partnership with Ireland.
“We regard Ireland as a leader in the EV project. Demography and political support make Ireland one of the most suitable locations for a large scale roll out of electric vehicles. Renault and Nissan are particularly pleased to be working with the Irish government and ESB in putting in place the correct conditions to support electric transport."