The Irish government will provide grants of EUR5,000 for those who purchase electric vehicles. The government said that Irish buyers of electric vehicles will be exempt from Vehicle Registration Tax.

The Irish government’s target is for 10% of Ireland’s vehicles to be electric by 2020. This agreement with Nissan-Renault will see 2,000 cars on Irish roads by 2011.

Under the agreement, ESB will roll out 3,500 charge points nationwide by December 2011. The rollout has already begun in Dublin and charging points will also be installed in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick. ESB also plans to install 30 fast charge points across Ireland by the end of 2011, with nine expected to be set up by the end of this year.

Nissan will supply its all-electric, five-seater Leaf hatchback to Ireland in early 2011 while Renault will launch its light commercial electric vehicle, Kangoo ZE, later in the year. By the end of 2011, Renault will also supply 100 pre-production Fluence ZEs for a pilot project in Ireland. Fluence ZE, an electric sedan for both private and professional use, will go on sale in Ireland in 2012.

All three vehicles will be fitted with the latest generation of lithium-ion batteries produced by Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), a joint venture between Nissan, NEC and NEC Tonkin.

ESB is designing an infrastructure that will ensure open access to all car manufacturers and all energy suppliers. Trials and pilots will be conducted by ESB to test the infrastructure and collect the data necessary to examine driving trends, usage patterns as well as the new electric car lifestyle experience.

The definitive agreement follows a Memorandum Understanding signed by the three parties last April to study the promotion of electric vehicles in Ireland.