As Northern Ireland strives to address network concerns, private investment in EVs (electric vehicles) is welcomed

The Electricity Supply Board, which runs the public network, reported to Stormont last year that the quantity of EVs (electric vehicles) in Northern Ireland was under 10% of that in the Republic.

According to them, the Republic’s charging network is 98 percent reliable, compared to 69 percent in Northern Ireland.

Nichola Mallon, the former Infrastructure Minister, launched a task team to assist the Province catch up, as well as £350,000 in match funding for local governments to use to expand EV infrastructure.

Weev, a private company, stated this week that it will make an investment of about £20 million in the construction of 1,500 new charging stations by the end of 2024.

“I’m glad to see the private sector step up with investment, and I’m determined to work in collaboration so that we can increase the usage of EVs here to help us confront the climate problem and the increasing fuel costs that families here are suffering,” Ms. Mallon said.

According to Department for Transport statistics on ULEVs (Ultra Low Emission Vehicles), there were about 7,654 battery-electric, fuel cell electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric in Northern Ireland at the end of 2021.

There have been 3,131 pre-pandemic in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Belfast had the most electric cars (2,689), while Fermanagh and Omagh had the least (215).

According to the Department for Infrastructure, the Electricity Supply Board owns and operates the electric car public charge point network in Northern Ireland, which has 337 public charge points.

Weev, a startup which is based in Belfast intends to invest £20 million in a network of 350 public EV charging stations throughout Northern Ireland.

The company claims it has secured private funding for the proposed network of 1,500 charging stations, which will include six fast-charging stations where drivers will be able to fully charge their vehicles in under 20 minutes, according to the company.

Weev is a branch of the b4b Group, which is a prominent information technology and telecoms firm led by Dominic Kearns and Thomas O’Hagan, both of whom are directors of the new venture.

The charging stations are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2024, with the first being installed later this year. Advocates for electric vehicles applauded the expenditure.

According to the corporation, this investment will assist solve Northern Ireland’s lack of charging infrastructure, with Nichola Mallon, who is the Infrastructure Minister, recently highlighting the paucity of commercial providers in the field.

“With the current state of fuel prices, people are seriously considering switching to an electric vehicle,” Mr. O’Hagan said. “However, they must do so with the confidence that their charging needs will be satisfied on any given route.”

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