Irish boost for electric cars: Free parking

Transport Minister prepares measure that would offer city dweller nirvana. Can you imagine this in New York?

Electric cars could use a jolt. Sales are slow in many countries. Ireland's no exception. A mere 200 EVs ride the Emerald Isle, home to about 4.6 million people.

So Irish Tansport Minister Leo Varadkar has a plan that he thinks will encourage people to switch to clean electric vehicles: Give away parking spaces to EV drivers.

According to the Irish Independent, Varadkar will soon introduce a proposal to Irish parliament - called the Dail - that will allow local authorities around the country to offer free or cut rate on-street parking.

Another Idea: Ireland's JTM Power last fall introduced what it said was the world's first portable EV charger. Could come in handy if city dwellers can't reach fixed charge points! JTM boss James Tracey pictured above with Paul Mulvaney of Ireland's Electricity Supply Board.

Eoghan Murphy, a member of Irish parliament (called the Dail) representing part of Dublin, has helped draft the legislation. He notes that while Ireland already has public on-street charging points, EV users often can't access them because conventionally-fueled cars occupy the space where they stand.

"You currently have the ridiculous situation where an electric car driver can't refuel because a normal car is hogging the space," Murphy says in the story. He notes that his Smarter Transport Bill would usher in meaures including free parking, "which are the kind of incentives we need to encourage their (EV) use."

Ireland's plan echoes measures already in place in Amsterdam .

Could you imagine this in New York?

Note: The headline on an early version of this story somehow said "fee" instead of "free" parking. Woops! Slightly different meaning. Corrected around 5:15 a.m. PDT.

Photos: Free Parking from via Flickr. JTM from Electricity Supply Board website.

More Ireland, parking and charging on SmartPlanet:

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