The grants and exemption from Vehicle Registration Tax will come into play in 2011 and are part of the government’s strategy to meet its target of 10% of the vehicles on Irish roads being electric by 2020.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan described the announcement as on-the-ground delivery of Government policy.

“The Programme for Government announced our intention to transform the Irish energy and transport sectors. We have made great strides in renewable energy, energy efficiency and now we begin the electrification of our transport fleet,” he said.

The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) will provide the charging infrastructure in the homes of the new owners of electric cars.

“ESB is currently rolling out a nationwide infrastructure to support the widespread use of electric cars. Ireland will be one of the first countries in the world to have a nationwide electric charging network which will offer opportunities for enterprise and job creation, as well as the obvious environmental benefits of ultimately having a decarbonised transport fleet” said Mr Ryan.

“Irish motorists can look forward to the cash, cars and charging points that will make the electric car the smart choice for the Irish motorist.”

Under the agreement, ESB will roll out 3,500 charge points nationwide by December 2011.

The rollout has already begun in Dublin and charging points will also be installed in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.

ESB also plans to install 30 fast charge points across Ireland by the end of 2011, with nine expected to be set up by the end of this year.

ESB Chief Executive Padraig McManus described the announcement “as another important milestone on the road to develop an emissions-free transport system.”

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie