A major part of the Irish Government's plans to expand public electric car charging capacity opens up today. The new Shared Island Sports Club EV Charging Scheme, which is being backed by €15 million of Government funding, is now open for applications.
Sustainable, shared future
The idea is to support the roll-out of 'publicly accessible, fast-charging for sports clubs and communities across the island of Ireland.' According to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, the new scheme "is one example of how the Government is working in practical ways with all communities on the island, for a sustainable, shared future.
"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."
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said: "This new scheme will provide fast-charging for sports clubs and communities across the island of Ireland and make switching to and using an EV easier for everyone. It makes sense to work collaboratively on climate action, North and South, to achieve together a carbon neutral future. This scheme will support clubs and communities in becoming more sustainable and reinforce the message that by working together we can move away from carbon intensive transport and energy."
The scheme will see applications gathered and assessed by Pobal, who will provide guidance on the scheme generally and who will offer direct support to applicants. Speaking today, Pobal CEO Anna Shakespeare said: "Pobal is delighted to work with the Department of Transport and Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI) on this exciting and ambitious new scheme. The Shared Island Sports Club EV Charging Scheme is very timely and important initiative to support the rollout of electric vehicle charging points at sport club facilities across the island. In light of Ireland's targets under the Climate Action Plan 2023 and commitment to the Shared Island Initiative, we in Pobal recognise the value of accessible services to communities and are proud to support it. We have a long track record of working on an all-island basis and with Pobal's own commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this will be a programme of importance to us as an organisation in the years to come. We look forward to working with sports governing bodies and local sports clubs across the island of Ireland to making this scheme a success and model of best practice for community-based EV charging schemes."
Failure of previous scheme
Hopefully, the new scheme will be more successful than the previous one which was supposed to see new public charging points installed by local authorities. In spite of being backed by €100 million in funding, The Irish Times reported that after three years, only 38 charging points had been applied for by four local authorities (Dublin City, Louth, Tipperary, and Meath), and none of the points had actually been physically installed as yet.