Power NI first to offer EV tariff, home charger and installation package
AS highlighted in last week's Drive, sales of diesel-engined cars are tanking, with petrol-hybrids and battery-powered models increasingly catching the eyes of buyers - or at least of those lucky enough to take delivery of their new vehicle in these supply-straitened times, writes William Scholes.
Electric vehicles have taken 13.9 per cent of the overall UK new car market in the year-to-date, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Northern Ireland seems likely to best the 10.3 per cent share claimed by EVs in 2021, when 3,779 plug-ins were numbered among total registrations of 36,616.
The growing numbers of EVs on our roads has placed further pressure on Northern Ireland's inadequate public charging network. Having a dedicated charger at home is therefore all but essential for the north's intrepid electric car drivers. These 'wallbox' units have to be wired by an electrician and are permanently installed, usually in a garage or on a driveway wall.
Unless you have invested in solar panels, you're going to be charging your car from your house's regular electric supply. From a 32 amp supply, wallboxes typically have an output of around 7kW.
This is enough to recharge almost all EVs overnight - and a reason many owners have moved to Economy 7 tariffs with their electric suppliers, to take advantage of lower unit prices while they sleep.
Power NI already has dedicated EV tariffs, including an Economy 7 EV 'nightshift' plan, and has further improved its offering by launching a home charger and installation package.
The unit itself is the EO Mini Pro 2 - a tiny device compared to some of the ugly boxes you may have seen attached to people's houses, and said to be the world's smallest - and Power NI has teamed up with Refresh NI to install the devices.
The charger can turn itself off when another high-power unit is on, thus reducing energy usage. An app allows customers to manage, monitor and schedule charging.
"I am proud that Power NI is the first electricity provider to introduce a charging product into the NI market, now offering customers both an EV tariff and an EV charger," said Mark Wiggins from the supplier.
"At Power NI, our goal is to assist customers in their energy transition journey. Last year, we introduced our Electric Vehicle tariff with 1,500 customers signed up to date. We are delighted to collaborate with Refresh NI as our installation partner and we are committed to playing our part in the race to net zero and helping to power a more sustainable future."
Bill Cherry from Refresh NI said the company was focused on "delivering a full range of energy efficient solutions that help customers reduce carbon emissions in their homes".
"We see the installation of home vehicle chargers as a key component of this," he added.
If you wanted to go it alone, you can buy an EO Mini Pro 2 for around £500, but you would have to arrange installation. A one-stop shop for both your electric tariff and charger installation is appealing, and with EV's burgeoning appeal, Power NI is likely to be joined by the other suppliers in the market before too long…