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EV ownership soars by 133 per cent - but where are the charge points?

Northern Ireland has seen a 133 per cent increase in hybrid electric cars since 2020 - but charging infrastructure isn't keeping pace
Northern Ireland has seen a 133 per cent increase in hybrid electric cars since 2020 - but charging infrastructure isn't keeping pace Northern Ireland has seen a 133 per cent increase in hybrid electric cars since 2020 - but charging infrastructure isn't keeping pace

OWNERSHIP of electric-powered vehicles in Northern Ireland has soared by 133 per cent in the last two years - much higher than any other UK region - new figures show.

But the growth in charging infrastructure isn't keeping pace here, with the region having just one per cent of the total UK public charging points total of 45,737 (the region has just 427).

And with nearly 17,500 EVs now on the road here, that equates to 41 cars for every charge point.

Insurance experts A-plan have analysed data from the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency showing the number of privately-owned cars and what fuel they use across each region of the UK.

In Northern Ireland, there were 17,463 hybrid or fully electric vehicles on the road in the final quarter of 2022.

That compares to 12,077 at the same period in 2021 and 7,274 in 2020.

Between the final quarters of 2020 and 2022, ownership of petrol vehicles only fell slightly from 37,600 to 36,800, while diesel car ownership actually increased from 52,100 to 52,700.

Since 2011, the UK government has pushed for vehicles powered by electricity, through a hybrid or fully electric engine, to be used by the public due to the positive environmental effects.

But the lack of infrastructure, such as charging stations, and the high price of these vehicles have hampered their use.

A spokesman for A-plan said: “Electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in the UK - especially so in Northern Ireland.

“Used vehicles have historically been a cheaper option for young drivers. But car tax changes and increases in fuel prices have made older cars much more expensive to drive and maintain.

“On average, an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle costs around £10 to £15 less than an equivalent petrol journey. However, the upfront cost of an electric vehicle is much higher. Used hybrid and electric vehicles are available but come at a higher price than their petrol counterparts.”

He added: “Infrastructure improvements and financial grants to make hybrid or fully electric vehicles more appealing are essential to meet the zero emissions goals.”