Portlaoise set to get a host of new electric car charging points

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Multiple electric car charging points sought for Laois

Multiple electric car charging points sought for Laois

Laois' county town Portlaoise is set to get another 30 public charging points for electric cars.

Laois County Council has confirmed that it has applied for funding for the installation of the ports in the town.

The local authority said it is engaging with the ESB and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on this project.

"These electric vehicle charging points are to be installed by next year subject to the final funding being approved," the acting senior executive engineer Farhan Nasiem stated, at the April council meeting.

Cllr Noel Tuohy from Portlaoise wants his town to exploit the potential of electric car drivers stopping off.

"We are not well served with charging points at the moment. Some motorway stop-offs have more recharging points than we do in Portlaoise. Very often the few public charging points are out of order. It still baffles me that we are charging people to park in them while recharging their vehicle instead of encouraging them".

"E-vehicles and hybrid cars are the future of transport and we have to put in place the infrastructure to support this and to exploit this benefit for Portlaoise and our county. give them another reason to stop off in our town instead of somewhere else down the M7 and M8 motorways," he said.

He tabled a motion to the meeting asking that the council engage with the ESB, SEAI the Automobile Association "and any other stakeholders as required to establish Laois as the best connected and most e-vehicle friendly location and hub in the country".

Cllr Tuohy also wants public seating with solar panels and USB sockets for people to charge their phones, "the norm all over Europe".

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) say that 1,129 new electric cars were registered in January and February, up from 176 in the same period in 2018.