The Irish government has announced it will be launching a new civil engineering program to help companies and companies looking to build a range of new electric vehicles.
The government said that the Civil Engineering Program will aim to create a network of technical experts, including engineers, that will support the establishment of the first commercial vehicle fleet for electric vehicles in 2020.
“We know that building an electric fleet is a complex undertaking and that the UK’s automotive industry has faced many challenges over the last 25 years, but we know that the Government’s plan to provide a new fleet for the next generation of electric vehicles will help ensure the UK remains a leader in electrification,” Environment Minister Charlie Flanagan said.
The Government is targeting a total of 10,000 vehicles and 200,000 kilometres of range by 2020, with the aim of having all new vehicles on the road by 2025.
The aim is to make the UK the first country in Europe to have a fully electric fleet, which is more than double the amount of electric cars on the roads in France.
The new vehicle fleet will consist of the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 and Renault Zoe, with electric and plug-in hybrid versions to follow.
The first cars will be delivered by 2025, and the first vehicles to enter the fleet will be the Renault Zoe EV and Nissan Leaf SE.
The National Transport Authority said it was in talks with several companies about the program, including BMW, but no final decision had been made.
“The Government’s focus on developing and promoting the commercialisation of electric transport will enable us to build the infrastructure necessary to support the rapid uptake of electric vehicle technology in the UK,” the NTA said.
“This will also help ensure that all of our future electric vehicles are electric and will reduce our reliance on imported oil.”
Mr Flanagan announced that the first 50 vehicles, which would be sold under the government’s new ‘Electric Vehicle Charging Service’ scheme, would cost €4,600.
The NTA’s chief executive, Adrian Dunlop, said that a range-extender would be an important component of the scheme, with an estimated cost of €6,000 for the first 100 vehicles.
“With a range extender in the vehicle, we’ll be able to charge our electric vehicles up to 80 per cent of their full potential by the time we have the first fleet in 2020,” he said.
“This will help meet the needs of those who use electric mobility, and to ensure that the infrastructure remains in place to support future electric vehicle adoption.”
Electric cars are expected to account for up to 25 per cent in the EU’s electric vehicle market by 2020.