South West College to host electric vehicle roadshow in Enniskillen

Despite sales of new full-battery electric vehicles continuing to rise in Northern Ireland, for some, questions remain about the challenges they may face making the switch to an EV.

Attempting to address these concerns, the FASTER Project, a joint initiative by partners in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland to support the overarching ambition to transition to low carbon transport systems has been awarded €6,407,513.23 from the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

This funding is being used to implement the physical roll out and installation of 73 rapid (50KW capacity) electric vehicle charging stations in the programme areas. Subject to model capacity, certain electric vehicles may be recharged to 80 per cent in as little as 20 minutes via a rapid charger.

Latest figures show 398 electric vehicles were sold in Northern Ireland in August this year — a 46 per cent increase on the 273 sold in August last year.

While welcoming these figures, the Chair of the Electric Vehicle Association Northern Ireland (EVANI) Mark McCall said that although it is a rapidly improving situation, he is aware there are “still challenges” in relation to public charging infrastructure.

Recognising this, South West College in association with EVANI and Cenex is to host a roadshow in support of the FASTER Project in Enniskillen on Saturday 23rd September which will answer questions on EV ownership and showcase some of the latest models on the market.

The roadshow’s host, Andrew Benfield, Country Manager, Ireland and Principal Consultant at Cenex said this roadshow will feature everything you need to know about switching to an electric vehicle with information supplied by experts with a wealth of experience in driving EVs.

He said: “Exhibitors will include electric vehicle retailers, charge point manufacturers and installers, and EV driver associations, so you can meet people who have been driving a variety of different makes and models of EV for many years and find out about their experiences of making the switch.

“We’ll also have several highly informative panel sessions throughout the day, featuring a brilliant line-up of experts who will be able to answer all of your questions and help dispel some of the myths associated with going electric.

“Events that provide the same level of information and interactivity as the FASTER roadshow are rare. It is about time this wealth of information was presented to the people and businesses of Fermanagh, right on their doorstep.”

Donal Monaghan, FASTER Project officer at South West College said the roadshow will provide an excellent showcase of ‘exceptional’ electrical vehicle offers and help to address any concerns people may have about making the switch to an electric vehicle.

He said: “South West College is delighted to host the regional EV Talk Live roadshow for Northern Ireland at our Erne Campus in Enniskillen.

“The campus itself has made history as one of the world’s most sustainable buildings and is a fitting location for this event which will focus on the continued transition to the use of electric vehicles across the region.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of motorists making the switch to electric vehicles each month in Northern Ireland, but there are continued gaps in understanding about electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure.

“The FASTER Project, through this event, will seek to address and resolve some of those knowledge gaps, while showcasing some of the exceptional electric vehicle options which exist for local drivers right now.”

Registrations are open now for EV Talk Live Enniskillen and you can register here.