eDrive Event Success

Apr
05

Who said electricity and water don’t mix? From 6 to 8 March 2013, Titanic Belfast was the wet and windy setting for Northern Ireland’s first electric vehicle conference organised by Transport Projects Division’s ecar project Team. The “eDRIVE” event saw Titanic’s historic slipways transformed into an “electric avenue” filled with electric Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall cars and vans and over the course of the 3 days, hundreds of brave souls had the opportunity to leave the warmth and luxury of the Titanic conference suite and take test drives.

 Projections indicate that by just 2020, around 10% of new cars registered in the UK will be electric. With this in mind, as the generation that will be making the shift to decarbonised transport, day one of eDRIVE brought some 250 school students from across Northern Ireland together to learn about electric vehicles and technology, get involved in a lively debate with industry experts, and ultimately to get out and drive electric cars for themselves. 

 eDRIVE day two was targeted at the business sector, with just over 200 transport and fleet managers attending to hear about the financial incentives for businesses using electric vehicles. Safe, reliable, automatic, with impressive acceleration, zero road tax and 80% lower running costs than their petrol or diesel counterparts, business representatives gathered to hear about the attractive tax incentives and the practical capabilities of electric vehicles from a range of national speakers.

 The final day of the event was open to the public to come along and hear briefly about the project and particularly about the comprehensive charging infrastructure being installed in Northern Ireland, before moving to the slipways for test drives. 

 Within the next few weeks Northern Ireland will have 14 rapid charge points at key locations on the strategic road network, enabling compatible vehicles to charge to 80% battery capacity from flat in just 20 minutes. There will be a further 160 standard charge posts, each with two charge points, at other locations, making Northern Ireland a global leader in terms of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.