The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) has voted for mandatory electro mobility requirements in buildings as part of the ongoing review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Speaking after the vote on Wednesday, the Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly MEP, welcomed the provisions as "a vital step towards the decarbonisation of transport", and called on the Irish Government to apply such provisions immediately to new buildings.

“Transport accounts for almost a quarter of our emissions in the EU and is the number one cause of air pollution in our towns and cities. The shift away from fossil fuels in the transport sector is necessary, and the legislation we have agreed upon here today is important in that it makes the deployment of electric vehicles easier," the Ireland South MEP said.

“This legislation will ensure that new buildings, or existing ones that are being renovated, and that have more than ten parking spaces, will have pre-cabling for EV recharging points installed for at least ten percent of their spaces. Additionally, non-residential buildings will be required to have least one EV recharging point installed.

“These provisions will help to make electric vehicles more accessible and more feasible to all. As the deployment of electric vehicles increases, with this legislation we are ensuring that the infrastructure is in place to provide an adequate amount of recharging facilities.”

MEP Kelly welcomed yesterday's Budget 2018 allocation of €1.9 billion to housing but underlined the need to plan ahead with regard to infrastructure: "We implement these provisions ahead of the finalisation of this legislation and ensure that the infrastructure is in place for EVs in any projects that are undertaken in the coming months and years," he said.

The process of pre-cabling puts in place the needed electrical infrastructure to enable the quick installation of a recharging point. Mr Kelly further noted that deciding on pre-cabling requirements rather than requirements for finished recharging points is a sensible option.

“The deployment of electric vehicles is still in its infancy and we are now setting out the policies that will hopefully incentivise their uptake. Provisions for pre-cabling will ensure that recharging infrastructure can be installed when the demand is there, and therefore achieves the right balance between putting the conditions in place, and ensuring cost effectiveness”, he concluded.

The ITRE Committee will now table its agreed position before the full Parliamentary plenary session, where it is expected to be adopted before inter-institutional negotiations begin with the European Council to agree on the final text.

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