Tipperary County Council has come under political pressure to secure funding to install charging points for electric vehicles near the county’s tourist locations with Cahir Castle top of the list.
Independent Cllr Andy Moloney called on the council to source funding for charging points at Cahir Castle Car Park so that Cahir isn’t at a disadvantage in catering for tourists travelling the country in electric cars.
He issued the appeal at Tipperary County Council’s monthly meeting where he tabled a motion seeking an update on the rollout of electric vehicle charging points around the county due to the recent surge in sales of electric vehicles.
The Poulmucka councillor said strategic locations for charging points were needed near tourist locations so that rental cars being used by tourists can be charged during their visits.
The council supplied him with a list of 55 electric vehicle charging points at 25 locations around the county. It outlined the EVCPs are mostly located in larger towns and off the motorways and are mainly operated by commercial providers with some supplied by Tipperary County Council.
Cllr Moloney said the county was going to be at a disadvantage if the number of electric vehicle charging points are not increased as it was estimated that over one million cars in the country will be electric by 2030.
In relation to Cahir, which currently has no electric charging points, Cllr Moloney pointed out that more than 100,000 tourists visited Cahir in a year and most of them travelled to the town in rental vehicles.
He noted that rental car companies are investing heavily in electric vehicles so Cahir will be at a serious disadvantage if it doesn’t get EV charging points at Cahir Castle car park.
A power source and two parking bays have been identified in the car park for EV charging points and he appealed for funding to install the infrastructure.
“It doesn’t have to come from the council’s coffers. Can we go get funding and get the two charge points into the car park?
“All rental cars coming up will be electrical vehicles. We need these points in place. It shouldn’t be a big cost,” he added. Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Marie Murphy from Clogheen and Tipperary Town Cllr Annemarie Ryan supported Cllr Moloney’s motion and comments. “The more charging points in the county, the better,” declared Cllr Ryan.
In response to Cllr Moloney’s motion, the council said there was limited financial support available for the installation of electric vehicle charging points and significant costs involved in site preparation, ESB connection fees and annual running costs.
It pointed out that while the council will be preparing a Climate Action Plan including climate adaptation and mitigation measures to address the decarbonisation of the transport sector, the general view was the private sector will continue to expand the roll out of public EV charging infrastructure.
“The role of the local authority will be to assist EVCP operators in the operation and maintenance of installing public charging facilities.”
The council added that an EV Charging Infrastructure Policy, assessing demand and supply needs in the different areas, is currently being drafted.
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