NI Plugs into Electric Cars 3 April 2012
Looking to the future as Northern Ireland plugs into electric cars
Minister Danny Kennedy and Environment Minister Alex Attwood have jointly
launched the infrastructure that will support the increasing number of owners
and drivers of electric vehicles in Northern Ireland.
An electric vehicle or ecar is any vehicle that is powered, in full or part, by a battery that can be charged by plugging it directly into a mains electricity supply.
The Ministers arrived together at City Hall in Belfast in a car wholly powered by batteries to reveal details of the first phase of public charge points that have been appearing in cities and towns across Northern Ireland.
Danny Kennedy said: The ecar Project in Northern Ireland, jointly led by Department for Regional Development and Department of the Environment, is set to change the way we think about transport.
While most drivers will recharge their ecars at home overnight, from today the first of what will become a fully integrated network of public charge points becomes available to everyone using an electric vehicle. The charge points provide a convenient facility for drivers to top–up away from home, if necessary.
Whether we use the car for personal or commercial reasons, electric vehicles, with a typical range of around 100 miles on a full charge, now offer a tangible alternative to petrol or diesel fuelled vehicle.
Over 40 public opportunity charge–points are now available in Belfast, Londonderry, Newry, Armagh, Enniskillen and Larne. Over the next year this number will increase to around 140. Special rapid chargers will also be introduced close to major roads that can charge a vehicle to 80% of its capacity in just 25 minutes. Charge Points in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are fully compatible. Their are charge point location maps and more general information at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/ecar.
Commenting on the importance of todays launch, Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: From a climate change, an air quality and a health perspective there is a clear need to do something about the emissions from road transport. One of the ways of tackling this challenge while retaining flexibility over transport choice is to encourage greater use of low emission / zero emission vehicles.
My aim is to make Northern Ireland a world leader in carbon reduction and the use of electric vehicles, ideally powered by electricity from renewable sources, is an excellent way to decarbonise transport and contribute to our climate change, air quality and noise objectives.
I see electric vehicles as an exciting part of our transport future and I would encourage both individuals and fleet buyers to consider electric vehicles as a truly viable alternative to petrol or diesel power.
Anyone, including business users, can take advantage of a Government grant that offers a saving of up to 5,000 off the list price of a new electric car or up to 8000 off the list price of a new electric van.
The first 300 private or business users who buy an electric vehicle qualify for a 1,500 grant to install a charge point at their home or workplace.
Other financial incentives include exemption from fuel duty, vehicle excise duty, company car tax, van benefit charge and fuel benefit charge. Business users can also benefit from enhanced capital allowances.