The Climate Action Plan 2021 announced yesterday by Government, outlines a range of Industry specific emissions reduction targets for each sector of the economy.
Transport’s core focus is towards accelerating the electrification of road transport and a shift to transport modes with lower energy consumption.
Central to this plan will be Government continued supports and investment in EV infrastructure now.
Commenting on behalf of the Society of the Irish Motor industry (SIMI) Brian Cooke, Director General:“The targets for Electric Vehicles (EVs) outlined in the Climate Action Plan will prove a huge challenge for all stakeholders; consumers, the Government, Energy providers, as well as the Motor Industry. The Motor Industry has already begun the journey towards electrification, with large scale investment in new EV technologies on a global level and also investments nationally by local retailers in their premises and their employees. We have already seen significant growth in sales of new EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) this year, and the upward trend towards electrification of the new car market, will continue as the decade progresses. It should be highlighted that the Irish new and used car markets have underperformed over the last decade. If the current low levels of new car sales continue into the future then we will fall well short of the updated targets. However, if we can significantly increase new car sales to more normal replacement levels, the Industry has the ability to get closer to the EV targets outlined in this plan, but we cannot do this on our own. The Industry must work together with Government to create the retail environment for consumers to make the best choices and to maximise the number of EVs on Irish Roads. We need continued Government EV supports and investment in EV infrastructure now; the rewards from this investment will be realised in the second half of the Climate Action Plan, not only in terms of new EV sales and lower emissions but also potentially creating a vibrant used EV market, which can bring second hand car buyers into the EV experience. We also need to address the huge numbers of older high emitting cars on Irish roads and create an environment where those motorists can trade up to a newer lower emitting car. To achieve the Climate Action Plan’s target of 500,000 daily public transport and active travel journeys, commuters need real choice and affordable cleaner transport options. There is an onus now on the Government and the Motor Industry to work together to facilitate this change and to help deliver a more sustainable private transport environment”