by Aiken PR
· Pay for use to be introduced for Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers in Northern Ireland from Wednesday, 26th April
· ESB is undertaking necessary EV network upgrade work as part of £10m investment programme, £3.27m of which is from the Levelling Up Fund
· Drivers who have previously not signed up can do so at www.esb.ie/ecars/NI from Tuesday 21st March
As part of an overall investment programme to meet Northern Ireland’s growing demand for electric vehicles, and to support the delivery of net zero emissions, ESB has today announced the introduction of pay for use for its public electric vehicle charging network.
From 26th April, EV drivers will pay to charge their vehicle with two options available, Pay as You Go option and a membership option, with the latter designed for drivers who typically use the network more than five times per month. No matter which option customers choose to use, EV drivers wishing to use the ESB public charging network must firstly sign up to www.esb.ie/ecars/NI.
ESB has already commenced the next phase of its Northern Ireland upgrade programme with 100 fast (22kW) charger replacements.
Commenting, John Byrne, Head of ESB ecars, said: “To meet the growing number of EVs on our roads, and support the delivery of clean and affordable energy, we need to ensure we have a reliable, accessible, Northern Ireland–wide public charging network. Pay for use for public charging is now the norm across GB and Ireland. This is a natural step in ensuring we improve the network and maintain high standards for EV drivers into the future.”
Up until now, charging of EVs on the public network in Northern Ireland has been free, however, research undertaken by ESB demonstrates that owners are supportive of a pay for use approach so that continual enhancements can be made to the network.
Byrne added: “In the coming years as more people will be making the switch to fully electric or hybrid vehicles, it is imperative that we are able to provide drivers with the support they need. This includes the introduction of an overstay fee, widely supported by current drivers, which will help establish an acceptable etiquette for users to follow.”
ESB operates the largest EV charging network on the island of Ireland consisting of more than 1,350 charging points, 319 of which are located across Northern Ireland. In 2021, ESB replaced 30 fast chargers (22kW) and five rapid chargers (50kW) in Northern Ireland and has now begun a necessary £10 million investment project to upgrade the network.
This work is funded in part by £3.27m from the Levelling Up Fund and includes replacing all existing fast (22kW) and rapid (50kW) EV chargers across Northern Ireland.
“The legacy infrastructure will be replaced with the fastest, most reliable and advanced technology available,” said Byrne. “The new chargers that EV drivers will see being rolled out have proven to be highly reliable with a 99% uptime.”
The project will double the existing number of rapid chargers and increase the speed of these chargers two–fold from 50kW to 100kW. It will also see the introduction of high power (200kW) charging in Northern Ireland through the delivery of five high power charging hubs in strategic locations. These high–power charging hubs can charge multiple vehicles simultaneously and can provide an EV with 60 miles of range in as little as six minutes.