Electric car collaboration agreed
Charging points for electric vehicles could soon be a common sight in Northern Ireland following the signing of an agreement between car manufacturers and the Government.
Plug-in networks for energy supply could promote electric vehicles as the country cuts carbon emissions. Renault and Nissan will produce ideas for introducing the electric points while the Government will consider incentives for customers.
The first electric vehicles from the manufacturers will be brought in early next year.
Thierry Sybord, managing director of Renault UK, said: "Today's agreement with Northern Ireland provides a unique opportunity to explore cross-border collaboration with the Republic of Ireland and access to their 1,500 charging points in the south.
"This, coupled with the Northern Ireland Government's commitment to renewable energy, makes Northern Ireland an ideal market for the Alliance's range of zero emission 100% electric vehicles, including four Renault vehicles by 2012."
Paul Wilcox, managing director of Nissan Motors (GB) Ltd, said: "By working together governments and car makers can help to make a real difference to the quality of life for future generations."
The Plugged in Places bid, led by the Department for Regional Development and Department of the Environment, will be submitted to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles in London by October 29.
It will provide funding for electric vehicle infrastructure to a number of successful cities or regions.
The bid is supported by a consortium including local councils and representatives of the IT, motor and energy industries.
Environment Minister Edwin Poots said: "Electric vehicles are an exciting part of our transport future and I think this agreement will help to ensure that we start to enjoy the benefits that these vehicles bring sooner rather than later."