The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D., has published the National Policy Framework on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland – 2017 to 2030.
Switching to alternative fuels and technologies forms a central feature of the transport sector’s decarbonisation evolution. To make certain that the availability of refuelling and recharging infrastructure doesn’t act as a barrier to uptake of these vehicle types, the EU have established a minimum provision standard for refuelling infrastructure across the EU and set common technical standards to ensure interoperability.
Speaking today Minister Ross said: “This Framework provides a supportive environment for suppliers and consumers alike, and provides increased confidence and reassurance in our commitment to this emerging market. It sets out our vision for an alternatively fuelled transport future, and steers our preparation. The Government, through the establishment of a Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce, is pursuing the various ways we can support a greater uptake of LEVs. This Framework means that infrastructure will not be a barrier.”
The National Policy Framework on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland: 2017 to 2030 [pdf 4.34MB] represents a first step in communicating a longer term vision for the Irish transport sector. It sets an ambitious target that by 2030 all new cars and vans sold in Ireland will be zero emissions (or zero emissions capable) with the use of fossil fuels vehicles rapidly receding.
The Framework outlines the main fuel options that could provide alternatives to oil in transport namely: electricity, hydrogen, biofuels, and natural gas, in the forms of compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is likely that electricity will fuel the majority of passenger cars, commuter rail and taxis; while, natural gas and biofuels will play an increasingly important role for larger vehicles such as heavy goods vehicles and buses. Hydrogen use is also anticipated to increase its penetration across the entire fleet spectrum in the coming decades but not in the short-term.
Early stakeholder consultation on the development of the NPF [pdf 366kB] was held between September and November 2015 and the second stage of public consultation on the Draft Framework was held in December 2016.
The Framework recognises that the uptake of electric vehicles is lower than anticipated despite the current generous fiscal supports in place. Indications are that only 8,000 EVS will be sold in Ireland by 2020 (assuming all current policy measures and incentives remain) which is considerably fewer than the target of 50,000 vehicles set in 2014. However, if more supports were implemented, then in the region of 20,000 EVs in Ireland by 2020 could be feasible.
A Low Emissions Vehicles (LEV) Taskforce has been established to assess the range of measures and options available to Government to help accelerate the deployment of alternative technologies, focusing first on electric vehicles.
Low Emissions Vehicles (LEV) Task Force
In accordance with the Programme for Partnership Government commitment, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS), with the support of the Department of An Taoiseach (DoT), have convened an interdepartmental Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) Task Force.
It is charged with presenting a range of measures and options to the Government that will assist in accelerating the deployment of LEVs in Ireland. The Task Force has begun its work and has organised itself into three key areas:-
- Market Growth Stimuli and Visibility;
- Infrastructure, Energy Regulation and Pricing; and
- Planning Legislation, Building Regulations and Public Leadership