CITY HALL is considering the rollout of more electric car charging facilities in the city.
The Government recently announced that it is to invest €20m in high-powered charging units across the country.
Cork City Council’s charging units are currently available at Copley Street, the Lower Glanmire Road, South Mall, the Black Ash Park and Ride, off the South Link road (where 50 free spaces are available), Cork Institute of Technology, County Hall and Kent Station.
However, City councillor Mary Shields (FF) believes more fast-charging units are needed in Cork city centre.
“People are disappointed that there are only nine points in the city centre and not enough charging facilities. We should be encouraging motorists to use electric cars and this is especially relevant for public transport including taxis and they need fast charging facilities to save time.
“I’m glad to know the council is engaging with the ESB to bring more charging points and, especially, fast charging points. Taxis haven’t time to be waiting around,” she added.
City council director of roads Gerry O’Beirne said the local authority is set to carry out a review of its own electric charging points in city car parks and the Black Ash park and ride.
“ESB ecars has been responsible for the deployment of the national charging infrastructure. It is understood that their charging network currently comprises of approximately 1,000 public charge points across Ireland — including 75 fast charge facilities. There are currently nine locations within the city boundary,” he said.
“Cork City Council has also installed electric vehicle charge points at its own parking facilities including the Black Ash Park and Ride, Paul Street car park and North Main Street car park.
“A review will be undertaken of these premises with a view to the feasibility of the addition of further charge points.
“It is understood that ESB ecars will be rolling out a programme of new charge facilities across the country and will also be upgrading some it ifs existing charge facilities.
“There have also been recent reports of emerging plans by private/commercial companies developing some fast charge points across the county.
“With the growing numbers of electric vehicles, it is anticipated that the provision of charge facilities will expand considerably in the coming years.
“The Council will monitor developments in the market and engage with ESB in relation to the details of their plans for the Cork area,” he added.
Meanwhile, Labour local election candidate Peter Horgan has said that e-scooters can play a significant role in reducing traffic commuting in Cork city and can be used for inter-campus travel at third level and in industry.
“The opportunity is there for Cork to join a host of European cities that have embraced this new form of short hop transport. This isn’t a fad for tech junkies, it is a legitimate form of alternative transport that can link in with the public transport network and enhance it. This is worth pursuing.”