A motorist charging their electric car
Northern Ireland’s EV charging network is in need of significant investment

A new Electric Vehicle Taskforce has been created to deliver “transformative change” for Northern Ireland’s aging charging network.

Stormont’s Infrastructure Minister – Nichola Mallon MLA – believes the public body is needed to fast-track the modernisation of the province’s 337 charge points. The working group was announced at COP26 in Glasgow, with the Electric Vehicle Association for Northern Ireland (EVANI) one of the bodies that will contribute ideas.

New research from EVANI shows that half of Northern Ireland’s ten rapid chargers are currently out of service – some for months – with alternatives located many miles away. Northern Ireland also has the lowest number of rapid chargers per 100,000 people (1.1) compared to an average of 12.5 in Scotland, 7.2 in England and 5 in Wales respectively.

“I am driving forward decarbonisation in Northern Ireland by establishing a new EV charging Taskforce, to help us deliver a modern, reliable public electric vehicle charging infrastructure to provide confidence to users of ultra-low emission vehicles and improving connectivity across Northern Ireland,” said Minister Mallon.

“The aim of the Taskforce which will represent the views of drivers, energy-providers, consumers, councils and government, will be to inform a strategy for delivery of the necessary infrastructure to support those switching to EV use.

“Alongside the investment I have made and the match funding I am providing to our councils to help deliver e-charging across Northern Ireland, this Taskforce will be the driving force for the transformative change we need across our communities to deliver the scale of e-charging infrastructure required to make progress in our battle with climate change,” she added.

EVANI has been calling for the formation of an EV Taskforce this year, with spokesperson Mark McCall saying the Infrastructure Minister’s announcement was welcome news in the push to lower CO2 levels on Northern Ireland’s roads.

“We are pleased to be invited to this new group and hope that it will be the Executive EV Taskforce that we have been campaigning for – a cross cutting, action orientated, solution focused group to accelerate our transition to electric vehicles,” said McCall.

“Northern Ireland needs swift action to turnaround its unenviable position as the worst region for EV infrastructure on these islands.”

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