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Northen Ireland: Electric car charging stations appear in NI

Strange additions to the usual street furniture have been popping up across Northern Ireland.

The Department for Regional Development, along with government and business partners, have installed over 40 charging points for electric vehicles.

Over 100 ecar stations are planned to be in place by March 2013.

The project is aimed at preparing NI for a future where cars run on batteries instead of fossil fuels.

So far, the charging points have been set up in Belfast, Derry, Armagh, Dungannon, Newry and Fermanagh.

It will take between one and six hours to fully charge a car depending on the type and battery size.

There will also be a number of rapid charge points at locations near major motorways which will charge a car to 80 per cent of its full capacity in about 25 minutes.

Pedestrians passing by one of the stations on Belfast’s Dublin Road shared their opinions on the scheme.

Grant Price from Auckland, New Zealand, said that although he thought it was “a great idea” it might not be of much immediate benefit.

“I’ve got a little bit of a feeling that it’s maybe the government trying a bit hard when there’s not many electric cars around,” he said.

“It would maybe be a bit more successful if there were the cars around to use it. I think it’s been here about a week, but I haven’t seen anyone plugged into it.”

Mojav Abdulah from Sudan also had praise for the scheme.

“I think it’s better for the environment, for safety and everything,” he said.

Mojav’s friend Hitham pointed out that the spaces around the charging point were occupied by conventional cars.

“Maybe it should be reserved for electric cars only, there’s no room there at the moment,” he said.


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