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Govt to establish ‘mobility hubs’ for borrowing EVs

The Government is to establish 200 mobility hubs nationwide where people can borrow electric vehicles and e-bikes, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan conceded to the Climate Action Committee that transport emissions are continuing to rise but pointed out that the rate of that acceleration slowed last year, and overall, emissions were down.

“While we don’t have final figures yet, my estimate is we will see at least around 5% reduction in emissions last year,” he said.

While in transport there was between a 1% and 2% increase, the minister insisted that progress is being made in the sale of EVs.

“Electric vehicle adoption is surging, with a total of over 114,000 EVs now on Irish roads,” he said.

“Almost 65,000 are pure battery electric. We are on track to meet the 2025 target of 195,000 EVs.”

Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton strongly criticised local authorities’ records on encouraging and facilitating the use of EVs.

Their performance on EV charging “has been appalling”, with the uptake of grants remaining “pathetic”.

“We need to get out finger out on that,” he added.

He took particular aim at the thinking behind a mobility hub in Finglas.

“I believe vehicle sharing as opposed to ownership has potential,” Mr Bruton said. “I was very disappointed to visit the mobility hub in Finglas.

“I don’t think the location was great. I don’t think it’s being driven in a way that it really could transform peoples’ thinking about transport in that area.”

“Vehicle size remains an annoyance to everyone”, he said, noting “the escalation of vehicle size”.

The mobility hub project will cost €40m, and will start with pilot hubs in three urban areas.

Mr Ryan will bring a strategy to manage the roll-out to Cabinet shortly.

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