Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, TD and the Deputy Secretary of the Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland, Barney McGahan, today (27 June, 2013) launched an EU-funded cross border project, which expands the interoperable electric vehicle (EV) fast charge network in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The €4.2 million project is a joint initiative between ESB and the Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland (DRD NI) and is co-funded under the EU TEN-T programme and is a Europe wide test bed project. The investment involves the roll out of 46 new fast (rapid) charge-points across Ireland and the development of supporting IT systems. It facilitates the expansion of a fully interoperable EV charge-point network that allows drivers to charge their electric cars seamlessly in both jurisdictions.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, said: "I am delighted to launch this North-South electric vehicle corridor which represents another important step in the development of a nationwide electromobility programme in Ireland."
Deputy Secretary of the Department for Regional Development, Barney McGahan said: “The Department is delighted to be working with ESB in securing EU TEN-T funding to develop a cross-border network of rapid charge-points. This will ensure that drivers will be able to extend their vehicle range to travel much further in their electric cars, on both sides of the border.”
Today's launch took place at Topaz Service Station Dublin Port, which is the site of one of the TEN-T project fast charge-points. The event was also attended by Jerry O'Sullivan, Managing Director of ESB Networks and Andrew Graham, Head of Business Development and Strategy, Topaz.
Jerry O'Sullivan, Managing Director of ESB Networks, said: "With the global move to a low carbon future we are seeing the continued integration of the energy and transport sectors. This investment reinforces Ireland's leading position in the development and rollout of a standardised, smart electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The rollout of this infrastructure provides the ability to accommodate the uptake of electric vehicles nationally in line with Government policy, and further enhances their appeal to the general public."
Andrew Graham, Head of Business Development and Strategy at Topaz said: "Topaz is determined to play a leading role in building up the EV charging infrastructure all over the island of Ireland. The Company is also committed to diversifying its product offerings and giving its customers as much choice as possible in order to serve their needs. We are delighted to be working with ESB ecars on this exciting venture and we are looking forward to the further expansion of the Electric vehicle fast charger infrastructure."
The project funding is part of an EU study to assess the potential of EV fast charging infrastructure in the development of the mass market adoption of electric vehicles in Member State countries. The European Commission anticipates that the results of the study will provide a framework for the further development of a standardised fast charge network in Europe.
The roll out of the fast charger network is well advanced. ESB and DRD NI have installed fast charge points at service stations and other prime locations along key inter urban routes on the E1 linking Belfast, Banbridge, Dublin, Wexford and Rosslare. Fast charge points are also being installed at Cork, Galway, Limerick and Derry. The fast chargers will typically enable up to an 80% re-charge in as little as 20 minutes. They also facilitate longer inter-city journeys by ecars, as well as assist in promoting clean electric mobility in cities and towns.
To learn more about the TEN-T roll out visit the Fast Charge Point rollout page.
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