The Irish Government and ESB have signed a major agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroën that will see the introduction of €5,000 grants from 1 January 2011.
PSA Peugeot Citroën made the announcement that it has introduced two new electric car models – Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero – to Ireland as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Irish Government and ESB.
Minister Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, implied there was no reason Ireland could not market itself as a leader in renewable energy transport and welcomed the car maker’s involvement.
Pioneering electric cars
"Two years ago, I set out Ireland’s ambition to pioneer electric cars. We said we were open for business, the ESB agreed to build the charging infrastructure and we initiated a grant scheme for the customer.
"We have all the elements in place to be a true world leader in the electrification of private transport. I welcome PSA Peugeot Citroën’s involvement in this project."
The electrification of transport is a necessity for Ireland to meet its 2020 carbon targets.
National charging infrastructure
The ESB e-cars scheme has already launched plans for a national charging infrastructure with 3,500 charge points planned for the country by the end of 2011 – 2,000 domestic units and a further 1,500 public charge points. Up to 30 fast chargers will be installed by 2011, according to the company, and will be located along all major interurban routes, about 60km apart.
Ryan believes "2011 will be the year electric cars become a common sight on Irish roads," while ESB’s chief executive believes the agreement further "supports the expansion of e-car use among the public and demonstrates that car manufacturers view Ireland as an ideal location to develop carbon-neutral driving".
Peugeot and Citroën will each provide 50 electric cars on the Irish market in 2011, with that figure rising to meet demand.
The Peugeot iOn runs off a lithium-ion battery and has a six-hour charge time from a 220v supply while the Citroën C-Zero, also powered by lithium-ion battery technology, has the same charge time and has a maximum speed of 130km/h.
The Minister confirmed that grants of up to €5,000 for electric and €2,500 for hybrid cars will be available from 1 January 2011 to 2012.
The Peugeot iOn