Government departments have agreed to establish a network of electric-vehicle charging points across Northern Ireland.
Six access points on major roads will be created — at Belfast, Derry, Newry, Armagh, Enniskillen and Larne — which should all become operational during the next financial year.
Funding for the scheme is coming from the UK Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles, which is contributing £850,000.
The bid was led by Department for Regional Development and the Department of the Environment, with backing from Northern Ireland Electricity, NIE Energy, ESB, Donnelly’s Motors, Intel and SAP, as well as district councils. Together the local consortium partners are investing £1.5m.
Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy said: “It is a great example that the North could compete and be successful in this highly competitive process. The use of electric vehicle infrastructure will help us reduce emissions from transport and will promote innovation. Overall this is exciting news for our economy, our environment and the region as a whole.”
Environment Minister Edwin Poots said: “Road transport is responsible for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Northern Ireland. The use of alternative fuels, like electricity, can help reduce these emissions, and also help alleviate local air-quality problems. I see electric vehicles as an exciting part of our transport future, which are increasingly set to become an important alternative to fossil-fuel-powered travel.”