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New EU law “compels” government to purchase electric vehicles 

The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD has signed into law new EU Regulations which will “compel” all public bodies in the state to purchase electric or “clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles” with the aim of phasing out the use of fossil fuel vehicles.

The European Communities (Clean and Energy-Efficient Road Transport Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I. No. 381 of 2021) now applies to all public vehicle procurement, including purchase, lease, rent, hire-purchase contracts and relevant services contracts.

The Directive also establishes legally binding targets “that will become more stringent from 2026.”

According to the Department of Transport, Ireland will now be obligated to report to the European Commission on progress at a national level towards implementation of the Directive.

The first national report is to be sent to the European Commission by 1 April 2026 and will cover procurement information from 2021 to 2025.

National reports will be due every 3 years thereafter.

Exemptions will however be relevant to special vehicles for use by the armed services, civil protection, fire services and Gardai.

Commenting on the new law, the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the measures are about “stimulating the alternatively-fuelled vehicle market” in Ireland as part of the Government’s efforts to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.

The new EU Directive is in addition to Government’s current commitment to introduce a total ban on the sale of fossil-fuelled internal combustion engine cars by 2030.

Gript has previously reported that as many as 23 of Berlin’s new “green” electric buses stopped running during the recent cold snap and had to be replaced with diesel alternatives.

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