Electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Ireland lowest across 12 EU countries

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Ireland’s EV charging infrastructure is one of the worst in Europe

Ireland’s EV charging infrastructure 

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) in the UK has revealed that Ireland is way behind other European Union countries when it comes to electric car charging points. When compared to 12 EU countries, REA has ranked Ireland in joint twelfth place.

The main sponsor for the REA report was the global power management company, Eaton and their Energy Transition Readiness Index 2021 (ETRI 2021). In their research, they assessed the readiness of Ireland in its transition to a zero-carbon fully electric fleet. 

The ETRI 2021 index report found that “the policies and governance transition to implement are not in place yet”. They suggested that most of the countries in the study need to implement “prompt” action to achieve energy transition targets. 

At this time Ireland has approximately 2,000 public charging points for electric vehicles, and these are largely located in urban areas, which is not very practical for nationwide use.

As well as lack of infrastructure, electric vehicles still only account for five per cent of newly registered vehicles here compared to around 25 per cent in the Netherlands, and 75 per cent in Norway. 

The report compares 12 different EU countries ranking them on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Most of the countries on the list had a score of between 3-5 but Ireland was ranked at just 2, which was the lowest of all States assessed.

In overall preparedness for a full electric infrastructure, Ireland’s energy readiness scored 4 which shows that we have an accelerated approach here for decarbonisation. The report also highlighted that even though vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging is enabled, it has “low volumes and take-up”.

The report also suggests that there is strong public support for renewable energy here in Ireland and a growing awareness in the general public to a transition to ‘green’ energy. One of the authors of the report, Robert Hull said: 

“This report clearly demonstrates that the EV charging network in Ireland is lagging far behind that of other comparable nations. 

“Under the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulations, by 2030, CO2 emissions from new cars will have to reduce by 55 per cent on 2021 levels. To meet this target there is an urgent need for the acceleration of the roll-out of EV charging points across the country.”  

“Delivering net-zero public charging infrastructure and investment is crucial to guarantee the widespread adoption of EVs. This burden does not need to be shouldered by government alone, but it does need to work with commercial entities that have the ability to deliver a charging network at scale.

“This makes sense on a number of levels; not least because such action will deliver on government’s stated objective of reducing emissions through electricity generation while decarbonising transport, which will help to support its climate action targets.” 

The Ireland manager for Eaton, Phil Kane also commented on the transition to renewable energy: 

“There is widespread public and political support for the energy transition, but there is a mismatch between ambition and action.

“The tools exist for the provision of a robust EV charging network, but to unlock much needed investment, business needs to see the right regulatory framework created.

“This will give consumers the confidence that they have access to charging when they need it which will ultimately, help to accelerate Ireland’s progress towards decarbonising transport.”


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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