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Dickson Urges Incentivisation for Rural Consumers to Embrace Electric Vehicles

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has questioned the Minister for Infrastructure over how she plans to incentivise rural consumers to use electric vehicles.

Mr Dickson said: “If we are going to make some real inroads into planning ahead for a sustainable and environmentally friendly future, it will be vital that more and more people have access to electric vehicle infrastructure. Especially home charging points.

“The Minister has highlighted the Road to Zero Strategy which is how the British Government will support the transition to zero emission road transport and reduce emissions from conventional vehicles during the transition.

Whilst the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) continues to provide a broad range of funding in GB-NI including plug-in grants for cars, vans, taxis and motorcycles, with the provision of grants for home, work, and on-street residential charging infrastructure.

“The majority of drivers, especially in rural areas, should meet the requirements of the grant, which essentially stipulate that homes must have a driveway or garage to qualify. Given the average distances travelled by car in Northern Ireland, the Department for Infrastructure expects home charging should be sufficient for the majority of EV drivers without the need to overly rely on the public charging network”.

Mr Dickson concluded by saying: “I am glad the Minister is beginning to give EV infrastructure serious thought. Especially in respect to home charging support. I will continue to keep a close eye on this aspect of the Minister’s portfolio as her Department works to improve our local infrastructure, whilst encouraging the citizens of Northern Ireland to embrace more environmentally friendly ways of getting from A to B”.

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