One ‘fast’ charging point in Mid and East Antrim for electric cars, council told

Mid and East Antrim has just one “fast charger” for electric vehicles, councillors have heard.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 5:47 pm

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s Direct Services Committee on Tuesday evening, Braid DUP Councillor Beth Adger MBE told members there is one in Ballymena but there are no others in the borough.

She indicated the next nearest “fast” charging point is located in Londonderry, 50 miles away.

Cllr Adger said: “There is no point selling electric cars if you can’t charge them up. We need quite a number in Ballymena. Hopefully we will get these up and running before very long.”

Ecars (stock image)

Councillors have raised concern previously over a lack of fast charging points for electric vehicles in Mid and East Antrim which members believe may be addressed through a new ‘Faster’ connection for the borough council.

Councillors have agreed to join the Faster consortium as an associate partner which will allow locations within the borough to be considered for fast charging points.

The body has secured €6.4m to provide 73 rapid electric vehicle charging points in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and western Scotland by May 2023.

Knockagh Ulster Unionist Cllr Andrew Wilson suggested Castle Carpark in Carrickfergus as a location, as well as Larne Harbour.

Larne Lough Alliance Cllr Danny Donnelly, who is also a member of the council’s Climate Change Working Group, said: “If we don’t have the infrastructure in place, the market can’t take off.  Fast charging is what we need. It is something I would like to see in Larne.”

In response to a query by Bannside DUP Alderman Tommy Nicholl MBE, the council’s director of operations Philip Thompson said an electric vehicle could achieve 80 per cent charge in 20 minutes through the use of a fast charging device.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: £21m spend needed for Mid and East Antrim Council to ‘decarbonise’ fleet

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