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Ireland Calls for 10% Electric Cars by 2020

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The Bay Area mayors who last week set out to make their region an electric vehicle capital have a new rival overseas. Ireland’s government today announced a goal to have 10 percent of all cars running on electricity by 2020. It plans to offer incentives, such as tax writeoffs for businesses’ electric-vehicle purchases, launch a $1.3 million research fund, and invest in infrastructure for the some 250,000 electric vehicles planned to hit Ireland’s roads over the next 12 years.

Ireland’s energy and transport ministers hope the move will spur an influx of international investment and free up capital currently spent on fossil fuel imports, helping revive the Celtic Tiger, which has recently burrowed deep into recession.

This could mean new opportunities for startups like Better Place, which has infrastructure development deals with Israel, Denmark and California (and says it’s in talks with 25 countries). Or Couloumb Technologies, which has teamed up with San Jose to deploy “smart charging” stations throughout the city. The Independent reported earlier this week — and Better Place confirmed with us today — that the company has already met with Ireland’s government and major utility. In a statement released today, Christian Engelfeldt, business development director for Better Place in the EU, said the company is “actively evaluating” the Irish market.

13 Responses to “Ireland Calls for 10% Electric Cars by 2020”

  1. Shai Agassi has clouded and confused many politicians with a plan that is far more complicated and expensive compared with the ready solution that can be provided by PHEVs.

    Agassi is trying to get around the battery cost problem by trying to hide it in a scheme to sell electric cars like cell phones. This simply won’t work. If implemented, it will however, lock the poor community that bought into it into an expensive infrastructure that will be unneeded and abandoned when plug-in hybrids make it on the road.

  2. Shai Agassi has helped advance progressive thinking about transportation. A large part has to do with the psychological element : people in the west, even those of us with a strong green bend, prefer the comfort and control of personal vehicles over public transport, and familiar technology over disruptive ones are always less intimidating.

    When one finds a way to build upon existing foundations rather than start completely from scratch, as Agassi is doing with integrating EV technology on existing infrastructure, it makes it easier for politicians to swallow.

    Let’s don’t stop. This is just the tip of the (fast melting) iceberg.

  3. Too bad, folks on the dollar side of the pond are unaware of the many progressive intentions in Eire. Brave enough to put lots of bread-and-butter old standards on hold – while they built an educated and literate nation – this is exactly the sort of political and economic courage I would expect.