Derry is to lose one of its electric car charging bays after local business successfully lobbied for it to be returned to a parking space.
The Department of Regional Development (DRD) has confirmed the bay - one of two at The Diamond - will revert to a parking space due to lack of demand.
“Following requests from local business owners, the Department looked at the level of usage of the charge point at the Diamond,” a DRD spokeswoman said.
“The decision was taken to reduce the number of bays reserved for electric vehicles from two to one until demand increases. This will ensure that the charge point remains accessible to electric vehicle drivers.”
Figures obtained by the ‘Journal’ show that from their installation in March 2012 the two charging points at The Diamond have only been used 28 occasions - the highest of the eight charging points in the city.
The DRD figures further reveal the charging point at the Maxol Station on Glendermott Road has been used on 20 occasions while the Templemore Sports Complex charge point has been used on 17 times over the same time period.
Electric car drivers have used the Victoria Market point on ten occasions, the railway Station charging point on six occasions while the Strand Road charging point (5) and the Carlisle Road point (4) are Derry’s least used charging points.
DRD say the number of of plug-in electric vehicles registered in Northern Ireland increased from 5 in March 2012 to its current level of over 110 and say the level of demand at public charge points in Northern Ireland has also increased.
At a cost of £2.3million, the ecar project in the north has seen the installation of 22kW double-headed fast charge points at 40 locations in March 2012, and a further 120 from March 2013 – August 2013.
Grants are available of up to £1500 for e-vehicle owners who install charging points in workplaces or at home.