Motorists urged to think electric
Stormont ministers have urged motorists to consider the environmental and economic benefits of driving an electric car.
Regional development minister Danny Kennedy and environment minister Alex Attwood have jointly launched the first conference dedicated to promoting the use of so-called ecars in Northern Ireland.
The three day eDrive conference and test drive event at Titanic Belfast hopes to increase awareness about the transport alternative.
Mr Kennedy said: "eDrive has something for everyone, whether you care about our environment or follow the changing face of vehicle technology. Business users, private motorists and our next generation of drivers can for the first time come together in one place to hear industry experts discuss the benefits of the latest cutting edge vehicle developments and how they can help protect our environment now and in the future.
"Two out of every three vehicle journeys made in Northern Ireland are less than five miles and with the range of ecars easily in excess of over 100 miles, many businesses and private motorists now have a choice when considering a replacement vehicle. The eDrive event is where everyone can find out more."
Organisers hope hundreds of visitors and delegates will attend the free event and book a test drive.
Mr Kennedy highlighted that ecars have low running costs, are exempt from road fund licence and are supported with a £5,000 Government grant to help with the initial purchase.
He said: "Our ecar infrastructure is one of the best in Europe and we are making it even better. By summer this year the majority of us will be no more than 10 miles away from one of 320 standard charge points or 30 miles away from a rapid charger."
Mr Attwood echoed his Executive colleague's support for the event.
He said: "Transport is one of the highest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Northern Ireland. The use of electric vehicles, ideally powered by electricity from renewable sources, is an excellent way to decarbonise transport and contribute to our climate change, air quality and noise objectives. The ecar project is embracing the future with technology that is changing the way we think about transport."