Who Pays For Public EV Charging?

22 October 2018

You knew it would get to this point eventually. A group in Ireland has raised a question that many have dodged around in all the excitement about vehicle electrification. Who plays for the electricity used to publicly charge vehicles and built into that question, how does the government get its share?

The Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce (LEVT), jointly chaired by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE), was established in December 2016 to consider the range of measures and options available to Irish government to accelerate the use of low carbon technologies in the road transport sector.

The taskforce includes representatives from across the public sector and said it has “consulted widely with industry, stakeholders and representative groups.”

Now a progress report by the LEVT proposed that fees will need to be imposed on motorists for using on-street and public charge points in order to make the provision of such infrastructure sustainable. Fees should be introduced for the cost of charging electric vehicles from public chargers, but warning that the level of fees would be “critically important” in order not to act as a disincentive against the purchase of EVs, according to a report in the Irish Examiner.

The taskforce also said that the cost of existing supports to encourage the use of electric vehicles could rise to more than €230 million annually by 2023–  about 10 times its current level.

The taskforce said the funding of public charging, including fast charge points, must move over the coming years to a commercially viable model, as current free charging was unsustainable in the medium to long term.

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