Skip to main content

NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

Original language: ireland npf.pdf

Download the National Implementation Report 2019:

Ireland NIR

NPF highlights and 2019 NPF reporting on implementation highlights

On this page, we provide relevant information on the topic of alternative fuels vehicles, infrastructure or support measures as provided in the National Policy Framework (NPF) as well as the 2019 Reporting by the Member States on the NPF implementation.

According to Art. 10(1) of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, each Member State shall submit to the European Commission a report on the implementation of its National Policy Framework on a tri-annual basis, and for the first time by or before 18 November 2019. Those Reports must contain a description of the measures taken in the reporting Member State in support of alternative fuels infrastructure build-up. An overview of the Reports notified by [Member State] and received by the Commission to date is provided here below (download section), including an English translation where applicable.

The highlights for all National Policy Framework follow more or less the same structure: we first explain the modelling approach where one has been provided, we then explain the objectives or key focus areas of the NPF and then provide an overview of the key messages for those alternative fuels with distinct infrastructure requirements for which Member States had to develop national targets according to the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (electricity, hydrogen, LPG, CNG and LNG - therefore not covering for instance biofuels or synthetic fuels. The highlights are extracts from the NPF documents. These highlights should not be considered summaries of the NPFs. For a full and  complete overview, we  advise to read the NPF documents


Highlights 2019 Reporting on the NPF implementation 

Ban on Sale of new Fossil Fuelled Cars : Action 80 of the Climate Action Plan calls for the introduction of legislation to ban the sale of new fossil fuel cars from 2030 and to stop the granting of National Car Tests (NCTs) for fossil fuel cars from 2045. It is illegal to drive a vehicle 4 years and older without a valid NCT,therefore under this action it would no longer be permitted to drive fossil fuelled cars in Ireland post-2045. Ireland’s Attorney General must assess the legal impacts of the introduction of such a measure before work can be undertaken on legislating for this Action; however it indicates the policy direction being taken in Ireland to encourage a move away from fossil fuelled vehicles towards alternatively fuelled vehicles and other sustainable modes of transport.

Passenger cars account for over half of all land transport emissions in Ireland; therefore a transition to low and zero emission cars is one of the necessary changes if Ireland is to substantially reduce its transport emissions. Accordingly, EVs are a prominent mitigation in the recently published Climate Action Plan, which sets targets of 180,000 EVs on Irish roads by 2025, and 936,000 EVs by 2030. With over 14,600 EVs in Ireland at the end of October 2019, these targets are very challenging and they are indicative of the scale of the transformation that is needed across all sectors if Ireland is to reduce national emissions and reach its legally binding emission ceiling in future years.

It is widely expected that, over the coming years, the combination of: Improvements in technology; Reductions in vehicle purchase prices; Increasing driving ranges and model availabilities, coupled with Government incentives and new investment in the recharging network will maintain the current positive policy environment under which we have seen EV sales rise steeply over the past year, albeit from a low base. Action 79 of the Climate Action Plan commits Ireland to developing a roadmap on the optimum mix of regulatory, taxation and subsidy policies to drive significant ramp-up in passenger EVs and electric van sales from very early in the next decade. The relevant Departments will be convened by the end of 2019 to pursue this aim.

Low Emission Vehicle Taskforce: The Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Taskforce was established in December 2016 to consider the range of measures and options available to Government to accelerate the uptake of low carbon technologies in the road transport sector. The LEV Taskforce included representatives from across the public sector and consulted widely with industry, stakeholders and representative groups. The work programme of the Taskforce was structured into two distinct phases. The first phase focused exclusively on EVs, including both BEVs and PHEVs. The second phase covered other low emission fuels including CNG, LNG and hydrogen. Each phase was composed of a Steering Group and two Working Groups (WGs) – these WGs considered the following topics:

Phase 1 – Electric Vehicles, Working Group 1: Market Growth Stimuli, Visibility and Public Leadership Working Group 2: Infrastructure, Energy Regulation and Pricing

Phase 2 – Other Alternative Fuels, Working Group 3: Planning, Building and Leadership Working Group 4: Incentives and Infrastructure

Both phases of the Taskforce have completed their work, and a Progress Report was completed at the end of each phase. The Phase 1 Progress Report is published and the Phase 2 Progress Report has been approved by Government and is due to be published shortly.

Each Progress Report contained a number of recommendations for consideration by Government aimed at increasing the number of low-emission vehicles and increasing the level of alternative fuel infrastructure in Ireland. The Phase 1 Progress Report recommendations informed the suite of incentives available to EV drivers while it is expected that recommendations made in the Phase 2 Progress Report will lead to the extension of certain incentives to other alternative fuels as well as the creation of additional measures to encourage uptake of low emission vehicles (see Appendix 1).

Hydrogen Policy : As an island based land transport system with a relatively small vehicles market, especially for new vehicles, there are currently no hydrogen vehicles in use in Ireland and no real suppressed demand for hydrogen vehicles at current market prices. A potential first wave early deployment of sufficient sustainable hydrogen production, three clustered refuellers with c. 100 vehicles in 2022/23 is under consideration by a range of engaged stakeholders potentially with government support. However, even with such an early deployment, a second wave deployment between 2025 and 2030 would also be on an internationally small scale, based on current estimates of production and TCO costs.

Irish ports expressed the view that because the debate in relation to the future usage of alternative fuels remains unsettled globally, prudence demands that large scale capital investment should be avoided until stable demand conditions are established. Furthermore, there is a widely held belief within the shipping industry that LNG represents a short-to- medium term solution to what is a long term problem. The innate conservatism and risk aversion of the industry make investment in LNG unlikely because of the potential obsolescence of LNG technologies through the development of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia.


Highlights NPF (date of adoption: May 2017)

This Framework aims to support a transition away from fossil fuels over the next two decades, moving predominantly to electricity for passenger cars, commuter rail and taxis by 2030. Biofuels will continue to play a key role over the coming years and natural gas, along with some electrification, will provide an interim alternative solution for larger vehicles, i.e. freight and buses where significant reductions in CO2 could be expected from integrating biomethane with CNG/ LNG. LNG and methanol are likely to increase their penetration as fuels in the shipping sector. Given the speed of the advance in low carbon technologies, it is not illogical to expect all new cars and vans sold in Ireland to be zero emission (or zero emissions capable) from 2030. By the end of the next decade, low carbon alternative technologies will have matured and become considerably more affordable.

Electricity: The adoption of EVs has been identified as a key strategy in achieving energy e ciency, renewable energy and climate mitigation targets. Ireland has a number of characteristics which make it a suitable country for the deployment of EVs. As a small island nation, the greatest distance between any of our cities is 265 km (Dublin to Cork). The forecast for EVs for 2020 is 20,000 and for 2030 this is 800,000. Taking into account the current number of EVs and the extent to which the recharging network is ahead of market demand, it is anticipated that the present number of publicly accessible recharging points would be able to serve up to 20,000 EVs. There are no shore-side electricity supply facilities at any ports in Ireland, including the three TEN-T core network ports (Port of Cork, Dublin Port and Shannon Foynes) and, as yet, there is no demand from the shipping lines. No targets will be set, in the interim, in the absence of any market demand. However, subject to the outcome of the review (in 2018), Ireland will commit to setting targets for shore-side electricity facilities at the three TEN-T ports in 2019. Only Dublin Airport, which is Ireland’s largest airport, deploys the use of electricity supply units. At Dublin Airport, 27 fixed electrical ground power (FEGP) units have been installed on Pier 4 with 2 new units recently installed on Pier 3 in late 2016. 

Hydrogen: There is no hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in operation in Ireland with few commercial organisations capable of constructing or bearing the cost of a stand-alone hydrogen project. Coupled with the lack of right-hand drive hydrogen vehicles currently available for use on the Irish market, the rate of infrastructure development is expected to remain low up to 2020. Ireland has no immediate plans to establish a hydrogen refuelling network, as the cost of the infrastructure is massively disproportionate to current demand.

CNG: In Ireland, CNG in transport is still in demonstration phase. Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) operates one station on their premises in Cork with another temporary station operating in Dublin (note: October 2019 one CNG refilling station in Ireland; 5 CNG cars). The forecast for CNG cars for 2020 is 3,500 and for 2030 this is 38,000. For buses these numbers are 150 and 1,500 respectively. 

LNG: LNG is not used for heavy duty vehicles in Ireland. Currently, there are no LNG terminals in Ireland and very few commercial organisations have the capability to self-fund a major LNG project. Given the size of our TEN-T core network, the inherent suitability of LNG for long distance journeys and the lack of demand from domestic or international hauliers to provide LNG for HDVs in Ireland, it is not proposed to set targets for LNG infrastructure in this Framework. At this stage, there are no plans for LNG refuelling projects at any of the three TEN-T core network ports in Ireland (Dublin, Cork and Shannon Foynes). Equally, there are no plans for such development at those ports (Rosslare and Waterford) which are part of the TEN-T comprehensive network. It would seem prudent to review market needs (similar to shore- side electricity) by the end of 2018 with a view to setting targets for 2025. In the absence of any current market demand, Ireland does not plan to set targets in the interim.