EV drivers in Ireland will be charged for filling their electric cars at public fast-charging stations starting by mid-2019. The change affects the network of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), a state-owned utility. They failed to disclose any details on pricing.
Fast-charging at public charge stops provided by ESB had been free of charge in Ireland for the last nine years. The Irish utility justifies the step saying that the fees had become necessary in order to maintain the network properly.
Ireland aims to end the sale of fossil fuel powered vehicles by 2030. The government recently issued a 22BN euro new policy designed to move the Emerald Isle towards a low carbon economy. With regards to transport, the budget includes the installation of EV charging infrastructure. The aim is to have half a million electric vehicles on Ireland’s road by 2030. This is also the point at which fossil fuel powered cars will be refused license plate (we reported). By 2045 all combustion engine vehicles, including old ones, will be banned.
For now, the ESB plans starting to charge a fee, which will be phased in gradually. At the same time, they also want to extend the network by adding new super-fast charging hubs. “These hubs would cater for two to eight vehicles charging simultaneously and offer drivers higher charging speeds, resulting in reduced charging times and faster journeys,” a spokesman for the ESB said.
Moreover, the move appears to be in line with customers who would accept fees in exchange for a more reliable and fast charging network. Marguerite Sayers, ESB’s executive director of customer solutions told the Sunday Business Post: “Most of the EV drivers that I have met have said, you know what, I wouldn’t mind [paying] if the infrastructure was fast, if there was enough of it there and if it was reliable.”
The upgrades will take effect by mid-2019. Fees will first be applied for the use of existing 50kW fast chargers. The use of AC standard chargers or slow charging network will remain free of charge until the beginning of 2020.
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