Fingal County Council Bucks Trend in Electric Vehicle Transition But Other Local Authorities Lag Behind - Geotab Analysis
Published on August 29, 2023
Discover Geotab's analysis of EV transition among Irish Local Authorities, showcasing fleet electrification progress and telematics adoption
August 28, 2023 - Geotab, a global leader in connected transportation solutions, has today unveiled new analysis examining progress amongst local authorities in Ireland making the transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs). Despite the Irish government’s ambition of having 945,000 EVs on the road by 2030, the analysis finds an alarming lack of investment by local authorities.
Eighteen of the 21 local authorities that responded had electrified less than 10% of their fleet. Despite the low EV take-up, there are some exceptions, with Fingal County Council leading the way with 32% (60 EVs) of its fleet currently electrified and having had a policy of only purchasing EVs since 2018. The only other two local authorities that reported 10% or higher electrification amongst their fleets were Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (22% - 46 EVs) and Galway City Council (21% - 20 EVs.)
In contrast, Longford County Council, Carlow County Council and Limerick City & County Council have no EVs in their fleet. Twelve other local authorities had five EVs or less as part of their fleet of vehicles. Despite the low EV takeup identified by the Geotab analysis, the transition has clearly begun, with the majority of the local authorities that responded as part of the study reporting at least one EV in their fleet.
Despite the Public Sector Climate Action Mandate recently coming into effect, which will see relevant bodies required to only procure zero-emission vehicles wherever possible, it does not apply to local authorities. This will put the majority of local authorities at a disadvantage when they eventually begin to ramp up their investment due to limited availability of EVs as a result of heightened demand.
The local authority electrification figures stand in contrast to the Government’s ambition of increasing the proportion of EVs in the national car fleet to 30% and having 945,000 EVs on the road by 2030(1). With the transport sector currently accounting for 18% of Ireland’s carbon emissions, the Government’s own goals are to reduce the sector’s emissions by 50% by 2030 under sectoral emission targets as part of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan(2).
On a positive note, the analysis also revealed widespread usage of telematics in local authority fleets which have the capacity to help reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles. Dublin City Council is leading the way with 550 vehicles using telematics, with Cork County Council following shortly behind with 516 vehicles adopting the technology and Wexford County Council in third place with 288 vehicles with devices on board.
Commenting on the analysis, David Savage, Vice President Ireland & UK at Geotab, said: “Our analysis demonstrates a worrying lack of investment by local authorities across Ireland ahead of the switch to electric at the end of this decade. In total, 18% of Ireland’s emissions are attributed to transport, with the Government aiming to halve this by 2030. Local authorities are in a position to lead by example—but a change of mindset and funding is required to make the transition to EVs.
“Cost or a lack of strategic vision would appear to be the primary factor holding most local authorities back, but Fingal County Council’s adoption highlights that it is possible. Fingal has made a long term commitment to sustainable transport and climate action which should be commended, with clear lessons for other councils to learn from. Local authorities that are apprehensive about the transition should leverage telematics to get the data insights they need to make the best fleet decisions for the future.”
A number of local authorities reported that they are developing decarbonisation pathways for their fleet or that there are procurement tenders due to take place in the near future. Beyond the environmental benefits, local authorities could also benefit from a lower total cost of ownership by switching their fleets to fully electric vehicles.
A recent Geotab study - Profitable Sustainability: The Potential of European Fleet Electrification - reviewed the operational cost and environmental impact of traditional petrol and diesel light commercial vehicles (including passenger vehicles, SUVs, minivans and light-commercial vans) and compared them with their battery electric counterparts. According to the study, six in ten Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles analysed as part of the study were considered suitable to switch to an EV alternative today and fleet managers could expect to see average savings of €9,508 per vehicle over a seven-year period.
Geotab’s EV Suitability Assessment process offers EV adoption recommendations by matching an organisation's existing fleet telematics data to real-world EV performance data in order to establish what EVs would be suitable for their requirements and the business case to support it. To understand how Geotab can support your fleet today, contact us on https://www.geotab.com/ie/#demo
Geotab is a global leader in connected transportation solutions. We provide telematics — vehicle and asset tracking — solutions to over 50,000 customers in 160 countries. For more than 20 years, we have invested in ground-breaking data research and innovation to enable partners and customers, including Fortune 500 and public sector organizations, to transform their fleets and operations. With over 4 million subscriptions and processing more than 75 billion data points a day, we help customers make better decisions, increase productivity, have safer fleets, and achieve their sustainability goals. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offers hundreds of third-party solution options. Backed by a team of industry leading data scientists and AI experts, Geotab is unlocking the power of data to understand real-time and predictive analytics — solving for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s world. To learn more, visit www.geotab.com, follow @GEOTAB on X and LinkedIn or visit the Geotab Blog.
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