Failte Ireland says there is demand for electric vehicles for tourism.
The tourism agency plans to complete a study of the country’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure by the end of June.
Officials have begun planning for a rapid increase in electric vehicles in the coming years as climate change changes the way tourists explore Ireland.
Ireland’s national tourism board, Failte Ireland, plans to complete a study of the country’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure by the end of June, as it tries to prepare for the growth of “sustainable car tourism”.
A spokesman for Failte Ireland confirmed that it has started planning to develop electric vehicles in Ireland.
Ireland plans to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2030.
Anticipating this, Failte recognised it would change the way domestic and international tourists visit the sights and landscapes of Ireland.
This study is the first attempt to understand what these changes might look like and to Failte consider what developments might be needed as a result.
In the tender documents for the study, Failte Ireland said: “The ultimate aim is to identify the infrastructure and frequency of electronic charging points needed to support sustainable car travel so that international and domestic tourists can travel freely throughout Ireland, without worrying about scope”.
The “Wild Atlantic Way” and “Ireland’s Ancient East” are two of the country’s tourist attractions that rely in part on tourists using vehicles to tour a range of locations.
In the same document, Failte Ireland noted: “The perception that may or may not be correct is that Electric Vehicle owners have little opportunity to travel beyond their own charging infrastructure clusters, which, if true, would be a problem for tourism”.
When it comes to Electric Vehicle Charging, E.S.B. through its e-Cars program, currently operates around 1,385 charging stations across the country, ranging from “slow” roadside charging stations with outputs as low as 3.7kW to “fast” charging stations as high as 22kW or even 43kW” 50kW DC points, and Rapid and Ultra Rapid 150kW and 350kW chargers.
In addition to this, there are 400 chargers from the EasyGo Group, as well as six IONITY ultra-fast 350kW charging stations, which can charge two or as many as eight electric vehicles at a time. Tesla has some “destination” chargers that charge up to 6kW, and its “superchargers,” which have six locations and three more coming soon.
That brings us to around 1,800 generally available charging points, as well as a handful of privately held ones, and 34 Tesla Superchargers. Assuming 2,000 individual points, give or take.
More than 6,000 new electric cars have been sold in Ireland so far this year. Okay, so not everyone needs to be on public charging at the same time, but anyone trying to make a long trip around Ireland in an electric car will tell you that queues and wait times are starting to lengthen.
A glance at the map of charging points will quickly tell you that you’ll find them in the densest clusters in the Dublin area (no surprise here) but fast chargers – those that can charge at 100kW and above, with the rise in charging speed and the capacity of a car’s battery should be considered a necessity — it’s really hard to find once you’re out of the Pale. So the further you are from Dublin, the longer the queue and the longer you have to spend to get a decent top-up.
In fact, on a per capita basis, Ireland is doing pretty well, with about 40 chargers per 100,000 population — assuming you include Tesla superchargers. That’s much better than the UK average of 27 chargers per 100,000 people, but the UK figures are heavily influenced by figures from London, which has 57 public chargers per 100,000 inhabitants. In France, the figure averages closer to 69 per 100,000 people, while in Norway, there are up to 350 chargers per 100,000 people.
According to environmental think tank Transport & Environment, Ireland will need more charging stations if the Government want to get people out of petrol and diesel cars and into electric vehicles. Transport & Environment research shows that the EU will need 2.9 million public charging points by 2030, and Ireland will need nearly 30,000 if it is to achieve its goal of decarbonising its transport system.
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