Transport | Impact of electric cars on emission reduction targets over the next three to five years
To ask the Minister for Transport the extent to which the use of electric cars is likely to affect our emission reduction targets over the next three to five years; if he has any particular incentives in mind in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Fleet electrification is expected to continue to provide the greatest share of emissions abatement in the short-to-medium term. Detailed modelling was undertaken to inform the Transport chapter of the Climate Action Plan 2023, which considered 2025 and 2030 scenarios as reference years, in accordance with the carbon budget programmes. Fleet forecasts have been estimated using the Irish Car Fleet Model that assesses the impact of new vehicle technologies on carbon emissions. The model predicts how the proportion of fuel types (petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric) within the fleet will change over time using observed vehicle registration and scrappage rates by age and fuel type. We estimate that by 2025, our EV targets would equate to an approximate 6.5% share of the national vehicle fleet, and that the level of emissions abatement associated with electrification and other vehicle technology improvements in 2025 would provide 1.96 megatonnes (MtCO2eq.) of emissions abatement. I note that this model will be kept under continued review and an update of the National Car Fleet model is planned to account for the latest 2022 fleet registration data.
The Government has already committed significant funding to support low emitting vehicles through the National Development Plan, which currently includes an allocation of almost €500 million for the period 2021-2025 and additional support from the Climate Action Fund. This funding includes both capital grants to support the purchase of EVs and capital funding for the delivery of EV charging infrastructure.
In July 2022, I launched a new dedicated Office, Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland, which will oversee and accelerate Ireland’s transition to zero emission vehicles. A suite of new of grants and initiatives have been launched with further information available at www.gov.ie/zevi.
Further funding has been allocated in 2023 to ensure the continued transition to electric vehicles. This underpins the Government’s commitment to making electric vehicles accessible to all. This funding will continue to incentivise the switch to electric vehicles as well as enabling the expansion of a fast and rapid electric vehicle charging network to stay ahead of demand.
There are currently almost 77,000 EVs registered on Irish roads (end January 2023). That number is expected to increase as the price of EVs continue to fall relative to their combustion engine equivalents. It is expected that as manufacturers increasingly ramp up EV production, upfront costs will become more comparable to traditional combustion engine cars within the next number of years. This will make total cost of ownership much more attractive and competitive, particularly given fuel prices trends. There is also far more choice available across all major car manufacturers and this is driving increased competition on price.
The Department convened the Electric Vehicle Policy Pathway (EVPP) Working Group to produce a roadmap to achieving the 2030 EV target. The EVPP Working Group comprised senior officials and has considered regulatory, financial, and taxation policies to help drive a significant ramp-up in passenger EVs and electric van sales. The recommendations of the EVPP Working Group were approved by Government and the full report is now available online. In order to support the transition to EVs, the Group recommended that in addition to the generous suite of EV supports already in place in Ireland, additional measures to further incentivise EVs and/or disincentivise fossil fuelled vehicles will also be necessary. Cost-effective, targeted policy supports should continue to be developed and strengthened over the coming years.
An Implementation Group was established to progress the recommendations and consider further potential measures and barriers to the adoption of the EVs. This Group reported on its progress to Government in December.
Leave a Reply