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Electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf are continuing to surge in popularity.

Electric vehicle charger pilot project planned for Ennis streets

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

IN a move that is sure to spark interest with electric vehicle drivers, the Ennis Municipal District has confirmed plans are underway for a small scale pilot project to install on-street chargers later this year.

Details of the project, which are subject to funding, were outlined following a request from Mayor of Ennis Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy for information on roll-out plans for the installation of E-charging points for electric vehicles throughout the district. She stated she had been contacted by a number of people locally who are interested in moving to electric cars.

Welcoming the plans, Councillor Johnny Flynn suggested the chargers be placed in ‘park and stride’ locations rather than the town centre to ensure “fairly scarce” parking spaces are not taken up for hours by those charging.

Responding, Eamon O’Dea, senior executive engineer said from speaking with one of the country’s major operators of electrical chargers there is a need for medium to fast charging outlets.

It is intended that the pilot scheme chargers will be aimed at those who are travelling onto other destinations, with a “fairly substantial” fine from the operators if drivers go over time.

“The intention is for people who need a longer stay that they would charge at home, this is for those who require charging as they go, they charge for 20 minutes and are gone.”

Councillor Colleran Molloy agreed “people can’t be charging all day and taking up spaces.”

In her response to the motion, Anne O’Sullivan, Senior Executive Engineer, outlined the County and City Management Association (CCMA) has identified the local authority’s role in the development of the EV charge point infrastructure beginning with the development of an EV and EV Charge Point (EVCP) strategy and to assess the optimum locations for public EVCPs within its county boundaries.

“The Council is currently developing an EV and EV Charging Point strategy. Through the development of the EV and EVCP Strategy for County Clare an assessment of the need for the infrastructure will be carried out. This will include mapping existing charger locations, examining current usage, modelling likely demand, drafting design for on-street chargers & how the rollout should be achieved. This strategy will be guided & informed by the Department of Transports Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy 2022 -2025 which has been out for public consultation & will be published in Q3 2022.

“Engagement with stakeholders including ESB Networks, EV charging companies, retail providers, car park owners, etc is required and this has commenced.

In parallel with this it is anticipated that a small-scale pilot project for the installation of on street chargers will commence in 2022 subject to funding availability.”

It was agreed that Ms O’Sullivan would be requested to give councillors a briefing in September.

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