The National Franchised Dealer Association's Northern Ireland division (NFDA NI) is making progress in addressing the challenges hindering widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the region. To combat the pressing issue of the inadequate electric vehicle charging infrastructure, NFDA NI recently engaged in discussions with multiple MPs and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).

The state of the charging infrastructure not only diminishes consumer confidence in EVs but also jeopardizes Northern Ireland's ability to meet its climate commitments. In an effort to unite the industry and surmount these obstacles, the association is implementing a long-term strategy that includes regular dealer steering groups.

On June 29, 2023, NFDA NI conducted a meeting in Belfast, bringing together franchised dealer members and various stakeholders. The gathering delved into several pertinent topics, such as the overall market scenario, issues affecting the EV charging infrastructure, ongoing problems with the MOT system, manufacturer-dealer relationships, and the most effective strategies to confront these challenges.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the presence of William Downey, Auto Trader Account Director, who provided a comprehensive overview of the new and used EV market. Downey's insights shed light on consumer confidence and the broader impact of the economic climate on finance in the EV sector.

A dedicated segment of the meeting addressed the ongoing MOT crisis in Northern Ireland. Pat Delaney, Director of Operations at the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA), shared updates on DVA's future plans and efforts to tackle capacity issues across its network of test centers.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of NFDA, expressed determination to build on the momentum gained in Northern Ireland. Through strong connections with relevant Parliamentarians and MLAs, NFDA NI aims to continue engaging with key stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes for retailer members and amplify their voice in the process. By collaborating with policymakers and industry players, NFDA NI strives to create a more conducive environment for EV adoption and sustainability in Northern Ireland.