Dublin gets funding for electric cars

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Dublin’s four local authorities are to benefit from EU funding to buy hundreds of electric cars and develop possible “smart energy zones” throughout the city.

A total of €1.5 million will be shared between Trinity College, ESB and CODEMA, the agency which advises Dublin’s local authorities on energy policy. Cork City Council will also get a share of the EU funding to develop its electric transport plans.

The move is part of an EU-wide electromobility initiative called Green eMotion, which will deliver a total of more than €24 million to selected regions across all member states in a bid to develop know-how and share experience on exchanging petrol and diesel-fuelled private transport to the more environmentally-friendly electric car.

In Dublin, project managers CODEMA are hoping to bring together the four Dublin local authorities and the ESB in a joint effort to integrate electric vehicles within an overall sustainable energy plan, which could include “smart energy zones.” Overall, about 2,000 electric cars and 3,500 charging stations will be rolled out across Ireland in a partnership between industry, manufacturers, local authorities and universities.

Welcoming the initiative, Dublin MEP Proinsias De Rossa said it should help reduce the capital’s carbon footprint by 20 per cent by 2020 and become a more “energy-smart and efficient city.” It’s calculated that Dublin City currently emits 5 million tonnes of CO2 each year.

The European Commission was this week criticised after a UK newspaper published a story saying it was planning to ban “conventionally” fuelled cars from cities, but the commission said “A blanket ban on conventional cars is not on the table” and the removal of conventional cars from cities by 2050 was only a goal.

“The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true. Competitive transport systems are vital for Europe’s ability to compete in the world, for economic growth, job creation and for peoples’ everyday quality of life,” said European Commission vice-president Siim Kallas.

He added: “Curbing mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win–win.”

Article by journalist Jessie Magee for Eurolink, which is funded by the European Parliament. Additional reporting by Cian Ginty.

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