Derry City Council is backing Central Government initiatives aimed at promoting the use of ecars across the region and will host a public information event and roadshow in the Guildhall tomorrow.
The event is part of a pilot programme taking place across Northern Ireland by the Department of Regional Development partnered with the Department of Environment, aimed at encouraging local businesses and members of the public to reduce the costs of running a vehicle while helping the local environment.
At tomorrow’s information day businesses and members of the public can speak to professionals direct about the e-cars and have a closer look at what’s available.
Derry City Football Club captain Clifford Byrne and Derry Journal news editor Erin Hutcheon volunteered to test drive ecars for a week in an effort to gain a better understanding of the cars and the benefits of an electric car.
Mayor, Cllr Martin Reilly said he fully supported the ecar system and hoped that more people would consider driving electric cars in the future.
A spokesperson for DRD explained that the ecar introduced an electric vehicle charging infrastructure with over 160 electric vehicle charging points installed in many towns and cities across Northern Ireland, including the Derry City Council area.
“To support the purchase and running costs of ecar, central government is providing a number of grant opportunities. A grant can be accessed to reduce the initial costs of purchasing an ecar, as well as a grant of up to £1,500 to install a charging point in a workplace or in the home. This grant was due to expire at the end of this month but has been extended and will now expire at the end of June 2014 This is the first project of its kind in Northern Ireland.
“The majority of electric vehicles available today have a range of 60-100 miles per charge, with electric commercial vehicles ranging up to 150 miles per charge. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have a range of up to 300-400 miles depending on the make and model. It costs approximately around £2 to fully charge an electric vehicle and can take up to eight hours to fully charge. This would usually take place overnight using a home or workplace charge point. Standard public charge points will fully charge in around 6 hours, whereas a rapid charge point will reduce the charging time to only 20-30 minutes.”
The ecar is here to stay and Derry City Council will be supporting ecars in the Council area.
The information event and roadshow is scheduled to take place in the Guildhall tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.is open to businesses and the public.