10% of Irish cars to be electric

A quarter of a million cars on the roads of Ireland will be electric-powered by 2020, under ambitious plans unveiled today by the Minister for Energy, Eamonn Ryan.

The Government said it will bring in tax breaks and develop a system of street charging points for the green vehicles.

Along with Transport Minister Noel Dempsey, Minister Ryan also vowed to pour €1m into a nationwide campaign encouraging people to switch over from petrol and diesel to the elctric cars.

“All journeys start with one step. This Government initiative is an important step in transforming our current unsustainable travel and transport patterns,” said Mr Dempsey.

Under the plans, 10% of all cars, vans and trucks on the Republic’s roads – around 250,000 vehicles according to the official forecast – will be electric-run by 2020.

To achieve this, a new tax incentive is to be introduced which will allow businesses to write off the full cost of an electric vehicle against tax under the Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme.

The question remains, however, as to whether the environmental impact of creating a network of charging points along with generating the electricity to charge the cars is less than the impact of the combustion engine and diesel cars in particular.

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