Irish Government extends funding for EVs and charging infrastructure

15 October 2019

15 October 2019

The Irish Government has allocated more funds to subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) and develop the country’s charging infrastructure, as well as adding requirements for the provision of charging facilities in new buildings.

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, said that another €8 million would be set aside for EV purchases, bringing the total allocated in 2020 to €14 million. This will continue to fund the incentive of up to €5,000 available for individuals purchasing an electric car in Ireland, and up to €3,800 for businesses purchasing an electric van.

Another €3 million has been freed up to develop the EV charging infrastructure, on top of €10 million already provided by the Climate Action Fund. New buildings with more than 10 parking spaces are now required to provide charging points and, from 2025 onwards, all non-residential buildings with over 20 parking spaces will have to install charging facilities. Taxi ranks at core transport hubs will also be upgraded with fast-charging points.

An official release states that ′Government grants have supported a fivefold increase in EV purchases since 2016. Budget 2020 will see €36 million allocated in 2020 (compared to €18 million in Budget 2019) to incentivise uptake further. We will double the number of home chargers installed, and the fast charger network will also double in 2020. We will further roll out the nationwide network of on-street chargers.’

Electric company car subsidy

The new measures spell the end of the €3,800 grant for businesses purchasing fully-electric or plug-in hybrid cars – although they remain for electric vans. The Government comments that the discontinuation of this measure is because ′the generous benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax relief that is available for these vehicles is considered adequate incentive to drive growth in this sector.’

Employees opting for fully-electric vehicles will continue to receive BIK, rated at 0%, and this has been extended to 2022.

Private buyers of fully-electric vehicles are still eligible for a €5,000 tax rebate on the vehicle registration tax, provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. However, these grants have now been restricted for hybrids, whereby they will only qualify if they have CO2 emissions below 50g/km and a purely electric range of at least 50km. The changes will apply to all applications received from 23 October.

Petrol and diesel sales to end in 2030

The Irish Government unveiled a development plan to improve the country’s air quality early in 2018, including a ban on diesel and petrol vehicle sales from 2030. This plan already highlighted the need for the country to expand its charging network and increase the number of electric vehicles on the roads. The target was to have at least 500,000 EVs sold in the country by 2030, supported by the additional charging infrastructure.

The Irish Government has not announced new timings or volume targets with the latest measures.