Green Party calls for Electric Charging Points at all Garages

Cllrs Ossian Smyth, Ciarán Cuffe with electric car owner, Green Party representative Una Power and Eamon Ryan TD on forecourt of Maxol Garage, Baggot Street

 

New survey shows Electric Vehicle drivers love the cost savings but want more charging stations

A new survey, carried out by the Green Party in conjunction with the Irish Electric Vehicle (EV) Owners Association, has found that 75% of EV drivers saw lower costs as the main advantage of going electric, while the lack of public charging stations was the biggest difficulty experienced by EV owners.

231 EV owners (almost 10% of EV owners in Ireland) responded to the survey, carried out between the 14th and 28th June 2017.

Green Party Transport Spokesperson Cll. Ciarán Cuffe said:
“Electric cars have the potential to reduce carbon emissions and reduce oil imports. In Ireland we have the technologies to make the Smart Grid a reality and use electric vehicles to encourage more renewable electricity. We’re looking a t a future where electric cars will feed power back into the grid when needed, and recharge when grid demand is low. In the meantime, we need to make it easier to charge up when you’re on the road. We need more chargers at home and work, and in car parks, but recharging points at garages can also play its part in the move to low carbon travel.

“I am also working with Dublin City Council to lower road tolls for all-electric vehicles.”

The Green Party’s Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “It is clear from our survey that a revolution in Irish motoring is ready to take off. Drivers like their new electric cars, not just for environmental reasons but also for the lower running costs and better driving experience. Every car company is now promising new electric models and the battery range is growing at the same time as the costs come down. The era of the internal combustion engine is coming to an end.

“To speed up the revolution we need to address the frustration many drivers have with the charging infrastructure that is currently in place. 38% of EV owners found a lack of charging infrastructure the biggest issue they experienced. Another issue EV owners experienced was ‘ICEing’ – when a petrol or diesel car is parked at a charging point.

“Ireland took a lead in rolling out the first national network of charging points but a lack of political commitment over the last six years has seen us fall behind. For the third year running the UK will have the fastest level of new EV sales in Europe. This provides us an opportunity as it will give us access to the latest models with a right hand drive specification and we can follow some of their policy initiatives.

“The UK Government is about to mandate all petrol service stations to install charging points and we want Irish Governments to do the same here. New high-speed charging points can recharge a battery in a way that is comparable to filling up at the pump and even oil companies like Shell are starting to recognise the inevitability as they are starting to try and turn their forecourts green.

“It is up to the Government to provide charging points EV drivers need, so that the issue of range anxiety rapidly becomes a thing of the past.”

Press Release issued 24th July 2017, page last updated 27th July 2017

Greens: Government must act on Repair – Lease Scheme housing failure

Empty buildings owned by Office of Public Works on Military Road, Dublin 8

The Green Party today called on the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy TD to rethink the approach to housing in the light of the failure of the Repair – Lease Scheme.

Cllr. Ciaran Cuffe said: “The Government are unwilling to tackle the housing crisis. They cannot rely on light-touch regulation to deliver homes. The City Council’s Vacant Sites Register shows that two Government agencies: the HSE and the OPW own large empty land holdings in Central Dublin. These can and should be used to deliver homes. This Government appears crippled by inertia, and voted down the Green Party’s sensible Vacant Sites Bill 2016 to provide for a stronger approach to vacant sites.

“The OPW owns three storey buildings across the road from Heuston Station on Military Road in Dublin 8 that could provide homes for families living in hotels. Why can’t Minister Murphy tell Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran to convert these buildings into homes? He can’t shed crocodile tears over the failure of the Repair – Lease Scheme when he is presiding over empty buildings that could be used for housing. He must instruct Moran to deliver the goods.”

Cllr. Patrick Costello stated “The Repair – Lease Scheme is a softly-softly scheme to encourage empty homes back into the market but it just isn’t working. We need to introduce a stronger vacant site levy with stiffer penalties for those sitting on empty properties in high demand locations, which is reality covers all of Dublin.”

ENDS

 

Issued 10th July 2017, page last updated 15th July 2017

Greens call for Government to act on NAMA warning

The Green Party has called on Government to heed NAMA’s warning on Land Hoarding, and implement legislation to ensure speculators cannot hold on to zoned land suitable for housing.

The call comes as the head of NAMA Brendan McDonagh criticises the practise of landowners hoarding sites which should be used for housing at the launch of their annual report.

The Green Party’s Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said today: “It is extraordinary that NAMA disposed of enough land to build 50,000 homes, but only 3,000 units are under construction.

“At a time when interests rates are at an historic low point, and as thousands of families struggle in temporary accommodation it is immoral that the Government is failing to build sufficient housing to tackle the scale of the crisis.

“The Government’s Vacant Sites Levy is being laughed at by land hoarders who watch the value of their holdings increase by double digits every year as thousands suffer in homelessness.

“Fine Gael must grasp the nettle of housing supply and ensure that banks lend, and that land is used for appropriate uses. It is shameless that the Government voted down the Green Party’s legislation to tackle land hoarders and derelict sites, and then cries wrings its hands at the problem.

“For many years we have advocated a Site Value Tax that would discourage land hoarding. This would ensure that fallow lands in or beside our cities and towns would be developed for appropriate uses. It would also encourage owners of empty buildings to maintain and tenant them, or face a penalty.

“The Government must also make it easier for Councils to build homes. Currently they must consult with the Department of Housing at least four times, and this means it can take over four years for a local authority home to be constructed. The Government’s own red tape must be reduced.”

ENDS

Page published 1st June 2017, last updated 1st June 2017