30/11/2012

Minister Announces New Ecar Chargers For NI

170 extra Ecar chargers, including 10 rapid chargers, will be available for Northern Ireland’s motorists by summer 2013.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has confirmed the plans to encourage the eco-friendly cars.

The news follows confirmation that, under the EU Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), the Department for Regional Development will share a €2.1m EU grant with the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in the Republic of Ireland.

This grant will amount to 50% of funding for a cross-border project to further develop infrastructure and networks for electric vehicles.

The remainder of match-funding for Northern Ireland will come from a grant previously awarded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

Danny Kennedy said: "Northern Ireland is leading the way with the Ecar scheme and the enhanced network of charge points, which is internationally operable, will further demonstrate how electric vehicle technology is advancing."

The Minister was discussing the details of the award with European Commission Vice-President and Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas at the TEN-T Connect to Compete event in Brussels.

Mr Kennedy described to Vice President Kallas how Northern Ireland could lead the way in developing innovative infrastructure in Europe.

"This will undoubtedly encourage the take-up of electric vehicles," he said.

Northern Ireland appears to be leading the way with regards to Ecars, as the European Commission views the progress as an example to the rest of the EU of how to deliver fast charging infrastructure across member states.

The news promises further support to the increasing number of electric vehicle users and will help Northern Ireland meet obligations in relation to reducing greenhouse emissions.

(IT)

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