Mallon announces new EV infrastructure task force for Northern Ireland
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced a new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure task-force for Northern Ireland.
The minister made the announcement while in Glasgow this week for United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP26.
The role of the group will be to consider EV Infrastructure in the context of the overarching principles of prioritising active travel (walking, wheeling and cycling) and public transport towards decarbonising our transport system. The working group will be collaborative and will be made up of key organisations who have a role to play in this area.
“I am delighted to announce today on COP26’s Transport Day, that I am driving forward decarbonisation in Northern Ireland by establishing a new EV charging task-force, 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 the North,” the minister said.
“The aim of the task-force 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 task-force 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.
“I am honoured to be here at COP26 as Northern Ireland’s Minister for Infrastructure and I am fully motivated to do whatever is within my power to help resolve the crisis threatening our environment. This is our last chance and the time for talking has long passed. I’m here to get to work and make progress with partners across these islands and across the globe.”
Earlier this year, Nicola Mallon pledged work to upgrade the current charging points and increase the number, but was told that the current network is “a shambles”.
It was claimed by Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt that up to half of the electric vehicle charging points across Northern Ireland are broken at any time.
During ministerial question time at Stormont, Ms Mallon said she had provided funding under the EU InterReg scheme to increase the number of rapid charging points.
She said: “The e-car public charge network in NI is owned, operated and maintained by ESB. I have recently met with ESB to identify further opportunities for collaboration to advance the e-charging network.
“My officials are assisting ESB as it looks to replace up to 60 charge points which were installed as far back as 2011/2012 and I have made changes to the planning system to make it easier to install e-charging infrastructure.”