AQW 13792/17-22

Mr Cathal Boylan
Sinn Féin
Newry and Armagh

Tabled Date: 01/02/2021
Answered On Date: 10/02/2021
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister for Infrastructure to detail the amount her Department has spent on electric vehicle infrastructure in the past twelve months.

Electric vehicle charge point infrastructure is operated on a commercial basis and funding opportunities for the installation of charge point infrastructure in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are provided by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). This includes a £400 million infrastructure investment fund to support private sector investment in charging infrastructure by providing greater access to finance on a commercial basis.
The British Government has just announced that grant funding for the On-street Residential Charge Point Scheme (ORCS) will continue for 2021/22 and £20 million will be available for local authorities to provide charge points for residents without off-street parking. I would, therefore, encourage local councils, where possible, to access this funding for the installation of charge points on residential streets. My officials have also been engaging with OZEV and with the Energy Saving Trust (EST), who administer the scheme, in particular, with reference to councils in Northern Ireland. The EST has since held a workshop with councils in Northern Ireland about the scheme. My officials will continue to make themselves available to local councils to provide assistance, advice and guidance in respect of electric vehicle (EV) related matters.
My Department has also recently been engaging with ESB on its plans to replace approx. 70 charge points i.e. 35 charge posts to upgrade and improve the reliability of the existing public network. These charge points were installed some time ago and are experiencing faults on a regular basis, many of which are no longer supported by the original manufacturer. ESB can be contacted at or enquiries can be sent directly to ESB, Two Gateway, East Wall Road, Dublin 3, D03 A995.
In addition, I am also making changes to the planning system, through permitted development rights, to make it easier to expand the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. This will allow expansion work to proceed without the need to apply for planning permission helping to make e-charging more accessible across the North. Where possible, the Department takes every step possible to assist ESB with issues which affect the network.
I have also been able to support the EU INTERREG VA Funded FASTER electric vehicle network project. The project will complement and enhance the existing EV charging infrastructure, which was co-financed by the EU through TEN-T funding. The project is to install a total of 73 EV Rapid charging points across the island of Ireland and the West of Scotland by 31 March 2023.