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Westmeath has fourth highest number of electric vehicles

Westmeath has registered the fourth highest number of electric vehicles in the country over the last four years.

But don’t get too excited: that number still only amounts to just 15.

Topping the table for the number of electric vehicles registered from 2010 to 2013 is Dublin, at 119.

It’s a long gap down to the second highest county – Cork, which has 17; followed by Wicklow at 16, and then Westmeath.

There are several counties in which no electric cars have been registered at all – Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Roscommon and Tipp South.

The figures were released at Dáil Éireann level by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Pat Rabbitte, in response to a query raised by Deputy John Deasy on the number of electric vehicles purchased, and on the state’s investment in electric vehicle infrastructure.

Minister Rabbitte responded that the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, SEAI, which operates the electric vehicle grant scheme has to date received a total of 356 electric vehicle grant applications.

“I understand that 250 grants have been paid to date and that a further two are awaiting payment,” the minister continued, adding that some 257 electric vehicles have been registered in Ireland since 2011, when the grant scheme opened.

“A total of €1,053,200 has been paid in grants under the electric vehicle grant scheme up to the end of May 2013,” he stated.

Minister Rabbitte went on to reveal that the ESB through its ecars programme, is continuing to roll out publicly accessible charging infrastructure and domestic charge points, and has informed the department that its targets are to install at least 1,000 publicly accessible charge points in all main towns and cities and 60 fast chargers on major roads by the end of 2013.

“As of 19 June 2013, there were 1,280 charge points installed nationally. I understand that the ESB has spent €9.3 million to date on this infrastructure,” the minister concluded.