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04 Dec 2021

Revealed: Kilkenny’s low number of electric car charge points

Shock for eCar drivers as only seven counties have fewer charge points, writes Darren Hassett

Electric car charging point

Electric car charger

Kilkenny has one of the lowest number of electric car charging points in the country, according to figures published by the Minister for Communications.

Fine Gael’s Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for his plans in co-operation with the ESB through the eCars programme to “increase and replace the charging points which are no longer working”.

Deputy Corcoran Kennedy asked about plans to ensure that there are charging points available in all towns to facilitate the number of eCars travelling on roads and the number of working public charging points.

Kilkenny boasts 17 charge points across the county at places like Callan, Knocktopher, Urlingford, Thomastown and at several locations in Kilkenny City.

The counties with fewer charge points are: Leitrim (7); Cavan (10); Longford and Sligo (11); Monaghan and Carlow (13) and Offaly (14).

Figures for other counties include: Donegal (29); Mayo (22); Westmeath (23); Roscommon (17); Galway (31); Meath (24); Louth (27); Dublin (181); Kildare (32); Laois (18); Wicklow (29); Wexford (30); Tipperary (22); Waterford (26); Clare (18); Limerick (29); Cork (64) and Kerry (30).

In a written response, Minister Denis Naughten said: “The ESB, through its eCars programme, has rolled out both publicly accessible charging infrastructure and domestic charge points for electric vehicles.

“The maintenance and repair of these charge points is an operational matter for the ESB.”

The Minister added: “It should be noted that as such, the list is limited to ESB eCars charge points and would not include any installations on private sites such as hotels.

“Following a public consultation process, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities published its independent regulatory decision in relation to the ownership of this infrastructure in October 2017.

“A key outcome of the decision is that the charging network should not form part of the regulated asset base and therefore expansions of the network should not be funded from network charges.

"The Commission for Regulation of Utilities also envisages the future sale of the infrastructure by ESB Networks.

“However, the continued ownership of the charging network by ESB Networks for a transitional period of up to ten years is provided for.

“This ensures no short to medium term impact on the electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“The decision also set out the need for the electric vehicle charging infrastructure to operate on a commercial basis.

“In the absence of State-led support, this is unlikely to happen in the near term.”

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