Community “charging stations” to facilitate the switch to electric vehicles, e-bikes and car sharing

City dwellers who don’t have space to charge an electric car or who only need to drive one occasionally should be able to use a network of “Community Mobility Charging Hubs”.

The first hub officially opened in Dublin today, but there are plans to replicate the facility in cities and towns across the country.

The hub is a cluster of charging and mobility services on the premises of Dublin City Council’s local office in Finglas.

It has four fast charging stations for electric vehicles, a base for a car-sharing program and eight pay-per-use electric bicycles.

It is a joint public-private initiative and is located on a state-owned site in the heart of the municipality next to the municipal offices opposite the local Garda station, easily accessible and well-lit for night users.

Bike service will be provided by ESB and Bleeper Bikes, EV charging stations will be operated by EasyGo, and car-sharing parking spaces will be operated by GoCar, Enterprise and Yuko, who will always have an EV at the hub.

Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan said the idea is to offer people climate-friendly and affordable transport options in their neighborhoods.

“In this way, we will penetrate across the country, especially in areas where people do not have a place to charge their car in front of their house. This is a real problem for people in our cities,” he said.

He said he hoped locating a car-sharing base there would also help show that owning a car is not always essential.

“Sharing mobility lowers the costs for people. When you buy a car, it’s not the vehicle itself that you want, but the service it provides.

“If you can access this service without owning the car, that’s a huge cost benefit.”

Speaking after meeting the chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, which issued its annual report, Mr Ryan warned that much bigger action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was needed.

The council’s recommendations included low-cost loans for electric vehicle purchases. There are subsidies for purchasing electric vehicles, but these are set to be phased out in the next few years.

Mr Ryan said soft loans would be considered for the purchase.

Government-backed, low-interest loans for home retrofit projects are being developed, and he said once that program is evaluated he will consider expanding it to include electric vehicle purchases. Community “charging stations” to facilitate the switch to electric vehicles, e-bikes and car sharing

Fry Electronics Team

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