Northern Ireland Goes Electric
Northern Ireland looks to be leading the way in the UK’s green car revolution, which is working its way across the UK, slowly, but surely.
So what’s the country doing?
In a joint initiative between the Department of the Environment and the Ministry for Regional Development, the ‘ecar consortium’ has plans to install 40 electric car recharging points at six public car parks with rapid charging situated on the roadside of a number of main roads across Ulster.
What point are they at?
The Ulster Unionist Regional Development minister, Danny Kennedy, explained that the country is ” now at a stage where we can begin to install the infrastructure”. In the next few weeks, it is expected that over 40 charge points will be put in place around Belfast, Newry and Mourne, among many other places. There are also going to be four rapid charge points, which will go in key places on the roads in Northern Ireland, Mr Kennedy added. He expects them to all be installed in the next few months.
Who could benefit?
Mr Kennedy also said that grants would be available for both home and business owners to install electric car charging points at their properties – whilst those people considering buying an electric car or an electric van were eligible for a subsidy. This is bound to provide a much-needed incentive which should almost certainly have a bearing upon whether drivers choose to go green.
It isn’t clear whether the subsidy would be available to hybrid car owners just yet, but that could be something which happens in the future.
This is the kind of news that is becoming ever more prevalent across the developed world as governments, economies and carmakers themselves are clearly turning their attentions to electric cars.
Visit any of the world’s major car shows and you’ll see the same thing. At the Tokyo Motor Show in late 2011, for example, Honda unveiled its micro commuter concept car – a tiny all electric vehicle. The new car offers a range of just 37 miles with a top spend of 37 miles per hour – making it a city car only.
Surely, though, electric and hybrid technologies will begin to converge (along with other technologies) to make the future of electric cars not quite all electric? Time will tell, but until then, “electric” drivers in Northern Ireland should be well served for recharging points with the news of this latest scheme.