The Government is looking to boost the electrification of commercial fleets as part of plans to have nearly 1m EVs on Irish roads by 2030.
As part of plans to drive down emissions in Ireland, a new initiative will let businesses test out electric vehicles for free.
Fully electric cars and vans will be loaned to 200 Irish business free of charge for three months under the Government’s Commercial Fleet Trial.
The aim is to encourage businesses to make the switch to an electric vehicle and contribute to the targets of the Climate Action Plan.
Ireland is aiming to reach a 51pc reduction in emissions by 2030, setting the country on a path to net-zero emissions no later than 2050. One element of this plan is to have 945,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by the end of this decade.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, TD, said an “important component” in achieving this target is the electrification of commercial fleets.
“Businesses up and down the country are already telling us that they are keen to make the switch to more sustainable practices, but they also need to know that the switches they want to make are going to be good for their bottom line,” he added.
“The findings from this trial will give us real-world feedback and provide us with the evidence to encourage even more businesses to switch to electric.”
The trial will involve 50 fully electric vehicles – 30 passenger cars and 20 vans – while giving businesses the option to install an EV charger.
By the end of this month, 14 businesses across Dublin, Sligo, Limerick, Louth, Wexford, Cork, Waterford and Galway will have received cars to test out.
The trial will be coordinated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Zero Emissions Vehicles Ireland – a new office of the Department of Transport that is tasked with supporting the switch to electric vehicles.
While the number of electric cars in Ireland is on the rise, there have been concerns about meeting the ambitious 2030 EV goal.
Ryan said this week that the Government is “on track” to deliver the 945,000 EVs target, and that it will launch a new €100m strategy next month to boost the number of charging stations installed around the country.
A study last year found that Ireland lags behind other European nations when it comes to EV charging infrastructure, which could hamper the roll-out of these vehicles.
However, the Government has been making moves to change this. It recently announced a new suite of grants and initiatives to boost Ireland’s transition to electric vehicles, and a €15m all-island investment to set up 90 rapid EV charging points across Ireland.
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