Motorists who drive petrol and diesel cars will be among the groups most affected by the measures announced in the Climate Action Plan.

The Government wants to have almost one million electric vehicles on Irish roads over the next 10 years, with the sale of new fossil-fuel-powered cars brought to an end by 2030.

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry has described the plan as "ambitious" and "five-years ahead of other European countries".

Brian Cooke, the Director General of SIMI, said "it's clearly a huge change, but cars are cars, we've changed in the past from a petrol-driving country to a diesel-driving country, almost overnight in 2008."

"If the right infrastructure and the right measures are put in place, then we actually have the chance to change the mindset of people," he said.

He added however that there needs to be "proper traffic and electric vehicle-charging infrastructure and taxation measures" to help the sale of new cars and encourage the change.

Mr Cooke also called on the Government to extend the current incentives that are in place, including the VRT relief, the grant scheme and the BIK benefit, which he said "have worked well but are expiring at the end of 2021 in most cases."

Dublin Chamber has welcomed a proposal in the Climate Action Plan to give local authorities the power to restrict access in town and city centres to zero emission vehicles only.

"We welcome anything that is going to cut congestion in the city centre, cut emissions and make the place nicer to be around," said the Dublin Chamber team member Graeme McQueen.

However he warned that "there are too many people cut off from good public transport" for the plan to work.

"Projects like Metro Link, Bus Connects, a review of the bus network and cycle lanes would have to be delivered quicker," he added.

Mr McQueen said "we all support the idea of getting people out of petrol and diesel cars and into electric cars but that isn't going to solve the problem."

He said "the public transport options are just not there" at the moment.