33 electric car charging points unused

Published Monday, 28 April 2014
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Over 30 electric car charging points in Northern Ireland have never been used, it has emerged.

33 electric car charging points unused
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
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13 Comments
rosemary law in co down wrote (185 days ago):
Hello guys, I drive an electric vehicle a Renault kangoo van I do 80 plus miles a day and with five seats and a big boot it cost about 13 grand I use the public chargers in Belfast and co down. Every new technology has its growing stage. With enough public chargers in ni many types of vehicles could be electric in our infrastructure buses, post vans, delivery vans school buses the benefits to the running costs of a car and the public charger network in our villages and towns will encourage more people to consider electric cars there is now a second hand market. Beauty in in the eye of the beholder, there are many cars from major manufacturers Renault, Nissan, Vauxhall, BMW to name a few. You can get a ticket for parking in a disabled bay or loading bay too we all need time when new technologies come our way
Ricky in Ballymoney wrote (185 days ago):
Was in Portrush this evening and saw that new electric BMW car at the charging port in Landsdown Crescent
Patrick in Limavady wrote (185 days ago):
What idiot said it was ok to start installing charging points across the country when they know a standard for electrical charging has not been ratified within the car industry between the major manufacturers ???!!!??? Time the government got its act together if they are to be believed about their so called efforts towards helping the environment. So come on you have had enough time to adopt a standard electrical connection ..we have had electric vehicles as far back as the 1950s. So we need to move on its 2014 and we should have been flying by now. So lets start by having charging points all over the UK which are at least based on one standard. Did we not learn from the BETA max and VHS video mistake?? I mean why has a network of batteries located at service stations not being setup to facilitate swapping out a discharged battery with a fully charged one? Of course the big oil companies don't want that.. but then its time people stood up at told them what they require from a service station. I mean they already get to charge for air and water in service stations which ought to be free to the the motorist since it is a requirement by law to keep your tyres properly inflated and your water bottle topped up. So by law its time service stations were required to keep or provide charging points surely. It does'nt take a genius..but oh no... we have to have car manufacturers producing different connection types inflating prices and of course different electrical supply companies getting in on the act of providing charging points and at what cost? Travel outside NI to EU or mainland UK is it the same connector? So again ... how do we expect tourism to flourish if you have to leave your electric vehicle at home. How many councils in NI are purchasing the vehicles and is there a bias that the points are being placed in close proximity with government buildings? Time to bang the heads of our politicians together in telling them to get real and look to the future of alternative technologies... we are too slow to adapt. Get some real educated technologically minded people they do exist in abundance in these dark days... that really understand the application of new technology and can steer and advise the government to the needs of the public. So to all politicians get your batteries charged ... lets see some of that old NI engineering bright spark get to work!
John in Bangor wrote (186 days ago):
I saw a VW Golf parked in a space reserved for e-cars. It certainly wasnt an e-car and there was nothing connecting it to the charger. A traffic Warden walked past at and didnt give the car a ticket. I asked the traffic warden why and he said the space was not clearly marked as an e-car charging point so he could not do anything. The space was very clearly marked and the charger isnt just put there for the sake of it so how that is not clearly marked is beyond belief.
Stuart in Bangor wrote (186 days ago):
E-cars are very popular in Norway. I was in Oslo last year and there was a car park with 4 rows of spaces all for e-cars. Every single one of those spaces were taken.
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