Update from the ecar Team


ecarni has experienced a very busy quarter. You will see in the charge point usage section how the charge points are being used more widely every month. The release of new models of electric vehicles, such as the BMWi3 and the Mitsubishi PHEV has caused a spike in EV sales. In September 2014 we received 30 new EVs registrations, which is one new vehicle per day! This was followed by an increase in October to 41 EVs registrations. 

We will be busy engaging in some new marketing activities over the coming months. We will be running a competition especially for EV Owners in Northern Ireland, called ‘Why I Love My ecar’, with some great prizes associated with it. We will be participating in some events in the New Year, such as NICS Live, the Balmoral Show and the Business Eye Fleet Motor Show at the Titanic Quarter in April 2015.

We are installing new 7kW charge points throughout the NI Public Sector Estate. These will be located at Council offices, Departments, Hospital, National Trust and other locations. We hope to be able to provide some further information on locations in Spring 2015. You will also see in the public charge point article how you can suggest some new charge point locations.

Finally, we hope to install 2 further rapid charge points in the coming months, one in the Lisburn area, a few miles from Sprucefield, and another in North Belfast on the Shore Road near Fortwilliam. There are no further plans to install rapid chargers at present. However, we continue to seek funding for further installations. 

In terms of the overall strategy for ecar, our ‘Phase 2’ project recently commenced. This will focus on a number of key aspects:

  • Firstly, ecarni will focus on the commercialisation of the existing infrastructure and ensuring the implementation of a sustainable business model which will allow ecar owners to pay for their charging events at public charge points at an affordable price which will continue to encourage and promote a growing market. 
  • Secondly, ecarni will enhance and deliver the management and operation of the existing infrastructure and provide a customer-focussed approach to service delivery. We continue to work with the charge point owners Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) to ensure that the charge point network is fully operable and that any faults reported are properly and promptly dealt with. At this point we would like to remind anyone reporting a fault to phone the customer service number directly on 0845 601 8303 who will contact the O&M contractor to repair the charge points as soon as possible. 
  • Finally, as the electric vehicle industry continues to grow, the Department for Regional Development and the Department of Environment, as joint leaders of ecarni, are progressing a number of  funding opportunities to continue to enhance the ecarni infrastructure and the creation of further EV initiatives. 

The overall vision, as outlined in the OLEV Strategy ‘Driving the Change’, is that by 2050 almost all vehicles will be Ultra Low Emission with the UK at the forefront of their design, technology and manufacture. 

Although there have been many achievements to date, ecarni  is only at the starting line of a growing global industry and there is much more to achieve in the coming months. 

If you would like to make any suggestions for future newsletters, please drop us a line at ecar@drdni.gov.uk 

We hope you enjoy our first edition! We would also like to take the opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year, 

Best Wishes

The ecar Team