Reasons to go electric


With ever rising fuel prices and growing environmental concerns, electric vehicles are becoming more appealing to consumers and businesses. Northern Ireland's extensive ecar public charging infrastructure and other incentives for buyers make the shift to zero emission vehicles more appealing than ever.

Northern Ireland currently has 320 Fast (22 kW AC) Charge Points and 14 Rapid (50kW DC) Charge Points installed and available for public use. No-one in Northern Ireland is more than 30 miles from a Rapid Charger and most people will be within 10 miles of a Fast Charger.

Car parking bays are marked with green surfacing and signage installed at the charge points in car parks owned by DRD to make sure that only electric vehicles that are charging can legally park there. Bays have also been marked with green surfacing and signage at on-street charge points, but as these require changes to legislation they have taken slightly longer. We are working with private land owners who are hosting ecar charge points to have spaces marked there too.

While the installation of charge points is a huge step towards the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, it is not the only initiative taken by the government to encourage people to purchase electric cars. A number of incentives are available to early buyers.

The plug-in car and van grant, available to EV buyers in Northern Ireland, can reduce initial vehicle purchase costs by up to £5,000 for plug-in cars and up to £8,000 for plug-in vans. Vehicles currently eligible for a grant and available to buy in Northern Ireland are:

EV buyers are also entitled to a home charge point grant, covering 75% of the cost to a maximum of £900 for the purchase and installation of a charging point at the driver's home. This grant is administered by the Office for Low Emission Vehciles (OLEV) and you can find further information by clicking on this link:

The advantages of choosing an electric car don't stop here. All pure electric vehicles are exempt from vehicle tax. Electric cars are much cheaper to run compared to petrol or diesel vehicles. Charging an EV can cost as little as 2p per mile. With fewer moving parts, electric vehicles require very little maintanance, passing even more savings to you. And electric vehicles produce no emissions, making them cleaner too.

For businesses, EV's make sense: as well as being exempt from fuel and road tax, there is no company car tax or benefit in kind charge applicable. Businesses can also write off the entire cost of electric cars or vans against taxable profits in the year the vehicles are bought.

The EV market is steadily expanding, with more and more car manufacturers shifting their focus on plug-in vehicle production. Electric cars are here to stay.