Roy Beggs MLA said:
“There is an extremely low number of publicly available electric charging points. The Electric Vehicle Association Northern Ireland has expressed concern about their unreliability; indeed, 75% of people say that they are not satisfied. Does the Minister accept that, to have a sustainable model, it is important that maintenance is built and that there are incentives to ensure not only that they are all working but that, when a car is fully charged, the customer will move on and leave the space free for the next driver to make use of the service?”
Minister Mallon responded “I agree. One of the first things that I did when I became Minister was to change the planning rules so that it is much easier to install e-charging infrastructure. Mr Beggs is right to say that maintenance is key as well. I have met representatives from ESB to encourage them to do it. ESB has completed phase 1 of a retrospective upgrade of existing infrastructure. It is due to do phase 2, and it will have the money that it will draw down from the Levelling Up Fund. All of that will see increases in the e-charging infrastructure.
Minister Mallon responded: “I have provided match funding to the EU FASTER project, which will establish 73 rapid-charging points across the west of Scotland and border counties here on the island. I am providing 25% match funding from my blue-green fund to encourage councils here to draw down funding from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles. I am also supporting our community transport organisations with a pilot project to see how e-vehicles can suit their needs, given the critical role that they play in communities. The electric vehicle infrastructure task force will bring all of those people together so that we can have the holistic approach that Mr Beggs outlined.”
The attached picture shows Roy Beggs MLA with Steve Aiken MLA during a recent visit to Training Solutions NI which provides training for Electric Vehicle charge point usage