FASTER Project increases public EV charging provision across Ireland and West Coast of Scotland
East Border Region Ltd and FASTER Project partners have today announced the completion of a two-year programme of works with the installation and commissioning of 75 new rapid electric vehicle charging stations in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland (Border Region) and in rural areas along Scotland’s west coast and western isles.
These new chargers have been installed with the support of just over €6.4 million of European Union funding from the INTERREG VA Programme which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match funding for the project has been provided by the Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland) and the Department for Transport (Republic of Ireland) and Transport Scotland. This funding has been critical in supporting the transition to electric vehicles and sustainable transport use across Western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (Border Region).
Motorists living in or driving through each of the three project regions will be able to avail of the new charging infrastructure within the coming days as the remaining charging stations are energised and this is a very welcome boost for those with electric vehicles in the region and who may not have access to off-street parking or charging facilities at home.
Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers TD is pictured with representatives from the FASTER Project steering group. Pictured left to right Mr Paul Beattie (SEUPB), Professor Neil Hewitt (University of Ulster), Padraig McBride (Louth County Council), Barry McCarron (South West College), Pamela Arthurs (East Border Region), Gemma Robinson (HITRANS), Lewis Hunter (University of Strathclyde), Councillor Terry Andrews (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council) and Paul MacArtain (Dundalk Institute of Technology)
Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Transport and Environment, Climate and Communications in Ireland commented:
“Accelerating the transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) relies significantly on an effective and dependable charging network. Initiatives such as the FASTER project play a critical role in supplementing public charging stations and supporting the widespread adoption of EVs. They also serve as an excellent example of the efficiencies that can be achievable through collaborative efforts. We are making progress on rolling out a national EV charging network, which will further support the decarbonisation of our road transport and the transition to fully electric transport for people throughout the country”
Speaking at the project closing event, Jack Chambers TD, Minister of State at the Departments of Transport and of Environment, Climate and Communications in Ireland, said:
“The provision of adequate charging infrastructure is key to combatting ‘range anxiety’, and projects such as FASTER will go a long way towards encouraging a greater shift towards increased EV use. FASTER has been a clear success in terms of cooperation across borders by officials at Government level, as well as the project leads South West College, Louth County Council and HiTrans, and shows how we can work together to achieve goals that we may not be able to reach when working alone.
Minister for Transport for the Scottish Parliament, Fiona Hyslop MSP said:
“This is a really impressive example of cross-border collaboration to tackle shared challenges, with 75 rapid charge points installed across 13 local authority areas in the west of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland, including 23 EV chargers for some of Scotland’s most rural areas.
“Scotland is committed to delivering a healthier, cleaner and greener nation for current and future generations and the installation of accessible charging points plays a key role in this. My thanks go to project partners from across the jurisdiction for the excellent results achieved.
“I’d also like to thank SEUPB for their management of the INTERREG VA programme and reiterate Scotland’s desire to continue to contribute our skills and expertise as we transition into the new Peace Plus Programme.”
Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers TD is pictured with the FASTER Project delivery staff at an event held at the Ballymascanlon Hotel in Dundalk to celebrate the successful delivery of the FASTER Project.
Deputy Secretary in the Department for Infrastructure Colin Woods said:
“The Department for Infrastructure welcomes the completion of the FASTER Project and the successful installation of 75 rapid electric vehicle charging stations including 26 in Northern Ireland. The Department was pleased to be able to provide match-funding to support the INTERREG funding of this Sustainable Transport project, illustrating our commitment to supporting the transition to electric vehicles as part of the wider decarbonisation of transport and to working to help deliver a change in the way we travel that also helps us to tackle the climate emergency.”
Gina McIntrye, Chief Executive, SEUPB Ltd, said:
“The FASTER project is a tremendous example of how cross-border collaboration can be utilised to deliver effective solutions to those challenges which are common to all regions. This complex and ambitious project has substantially increased the availability of EV charging infrastructure across Northern Ireland, Ireland and western Scotland helping to support the de-carbonisation of our roads and the transition to fully electric transport. The SEUPB is proud to have supported the FASTER project through INTERREG VA Programme and we congratulate the project partners on their success.”
Councillor Terry Andrews, Chairman of East Border Region Ltd, said:
“East Border Region as Lead Partner on this innovative project are delighted to see the project come to fruition with much needed EV charging infrastructure now installed across the three jurisdictions. The project clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of cross border collaboration between a range of key stakeholders, and the benefits to be gained by adopting a strategic approach to sustainable infrastructure development. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our project partners and delivery partners who all have worked tirelessly to ensure the project has achieved all outputs as set out at the beginning of the project”.
Following a site selection process and competitive public procurement exercise conducted by Louth County Council, Weev was selected to deliver the new charging infrastructure at 14 locations stretching from Drogheda in County Louth to Buncrana in County Donegal. These 150 kW chargers will be invaluable to motorists commuting in the region.
Philip Rainey, Chief Executive Officer, Weev, said;
“Weev was delighted to win the bid for the provision of the rapid electric vehicle charging infrastructure along the border counties in Ireland. Whilst the project had its challenges with respect to complexity and completion deadlines, the preliminary work that had been carried out by both EBR and Louth CC ensured that the Weev / M&M consortium was able to deliver the project on time.
Weev believe the project is not only a launch pad to provide EV infrastructure and charging facilities to the underserved local communities within each county but will also provide a much needed EV charging facility to support travel and tourism within both NI and ROI.
Our Congratulations go to EBR and Louth CC for taking this initiative forward and ensuring the effective delivery of this key infrastructure project.”
In Northern Ireland, EasyGo was selected to deliver the new charging infrastructure at 16 locations across the Belfast City Council, Ards and North Down Borough Council and Newry Mourne and Down District Council areas. This will include a mix of 50 kW, 75 kW and 180 kW chargers, with electric vehicle drivers able to top-up their charge from just 15 minutes.
Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers TD is pictured at the Journey to Vehicle Electrification event held at the Ballymascanlon Hotel to celebrate the successful completion of the €6.4 million INTERREG VA FASTER Project
Chris Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, EasyGo, said;
“Through this programme of works with the FASTER Project, we have been able to install and commission much-needed EV charging infrastructure in 16 locations across Northern Ireland. Some of these new locations are charging hubs and can charge at a power of 180kW per hour. We are excited to share that the project is now completed. The addition of these new charge points means that EasyGo is now the largest charging network in Northern Ireland.
Our drivers have access to over 5,000 chargers across the island of Ireland, and our interoperability capabilities mean that cross-border travel and charging are now easier than ever. Our vision at EasyGo is to continuously work towards improving the EV charging infrastructure across the island of Ireland for our drivers.”
To support motorists driving along Scotland’s west coast ScottishPower was selected to deliver the new charging infrastructure at 12 locations across the Highland, Argyll and Bute and Western Isles council areas.
Chris Carberry, Smart Solutions Director at ScottishPower said:
“We are delighted to have successfully delivered this crucial infrastructure and decarbonisation project on behalf of the Highlands and Island Transport Partnership.”.
“We recognise that rural areas often face more challenges when it comes to accessing charging infrastructure and we are very pleased to support HITRANS in improving wider public access to rapid charging for their vehicles.”
The complete list of locations served by FASTER Project electric vehicle charging stations is available here and charger availability information will also be available on each of the major EV charging apps and websites.