Published Monday, 28 April 2014
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy at a launch of an ecar point in Newry. (© ecar)
The ecar scheme was introduced across the region at a cost of £2.6m and saw the installation of 174 charge posts - 160 double-headed fast charge posts and 14 single rapid charge posts.
However, 33 of the fast charge posts - which can charge two vehicles at any one time - remain unused in Northern Ireland, according to Department for Regional Development usage data.
Many of the points have not been used more than 10 times.
The figures are for usage until the end of last year, the newest data for January to March of this year is still being processed.
A DRD spokesperson said the market for electronic vehicles is "still at an early stage" but is continuing to grow.
They added that research suggests that the majority of charging is done at home.
"The charging infrastructure supplied by ecar has made electric vehicles a realistic option for drivers here," they said.
"The growth in usage of charge points here reflects the growing number of electric vehicles on our roads.
"There were over 2000 charging events in last quarter of 2013, a 75% increase on previous quarter.
"As the number of electric vehicles continues to grow across all parts of Northern Ireland, it is anticipated that charging events will continue to increase, and that more charge points will come into use."
The spokesperson noted that a substantial level of funding for the charging points came from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in Westminster, as well as funding from private sector consortium members and had ecar not been successful, this funding would have gone to other regions outside Northern Ireland.
© UTV News