Starting from today (31 July), charging points in Ireland — both Ireland and Northern Ireland — for electric vehicles (EVs) will be under the command of the ESB.
This announcement means that the monitoring and maintenance of charging points in Ireland is no longer two separate entities, but one unified service, which will no doubt come as good news to Ireland’s small but passionate number of EV owners.
This move will now see the ESB absorb the 334 public charging points that have been installed across Northern Ireland, which since 2011 have been managed by Northern Ireland’s Department for Regional Development (DRD) and the Department of Environment (DoE) ecar project; they will now join the 1,200-plus charging points on the existing ESB network.
The ESB has also said of the news that this transfer facilitates the next phase of the project, which will seek to put in place a more advanced operating system to allow the EV charging network to be run commercially within the electricity sector, suggesting future privatisation.
The Northern Irish DRD and DoE have said that with this transfer of responsibility to the ESB, it will allow them to concentrate on expanding the number of EVs in Northern Ireland in addition to creating a national infrastructure to accommodate it.
Speaking at the announcement, Paul Mulvaney, executive director of innovation at ESB, said: “We at ESB are very pleased to assume responsibility for the electric vehicle charging network in Northern Ireland and are committed to maintaining and growing the network into the future.
“Electric vehicle sales are increasing rapidly with all major car companies bringing EVs to the market. The charging network in Northern Ireland is one of the most advanced, integrated smart charge point systems in Europe, which is well placed to facilitate the increased uptake in EVs for years to come.”
ESB charging point image via Sean MacEntee/Flickr