Electric vehicles (EV) do not emit tailpipe exhaust fumes in the same manner as internal combustion engine vehicles. Optimal benefits can only be achieved, if EVS are deployed effectively, so that the tailpipe emissions are not substituted by additional emissions in the electricity sector. This paper examines the potential contributions that Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles can make in reducing carbon dioxide. The paper presents the results of the generation expansion model for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland built using the dynamic programming based long term generation expansion planning tool called the Wien Automatic System Planning IV tool. The model optimizes power dispatch using hourly electricity demand curves for each year up to 2020, while incorporating generator characteristics and certain operational requirements such as energy not served and loss of load probability while satisfying constraints on environmental emissions, fuel availability and generator operational and maintenance costs. In order to simulate the effect of PHEV, two distinct charging scenarios are applied based on a peak tariff and an off peak tariff. The importance and influence of the charging regime on the amount of energy used and gaseous emissions displaced is determined and discussed. © Copyright 2011 IEEE - All Rights Reserved.