“Northern Ireland’s electric vehicle charging network lags far behind both the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. It is now of growing concern that not enough investment is being made to address the lack of working chargepoints that is continuing to hinder the mass adoption of electric cars in this space. The longer this situation remains unchanged, the more expensive and more drastic the changes will need to be to bridge the gap,” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers across the UK.

On Monday 05 June 2023, the NFDA Northern Ireland Division composed letters to Ministers and MLAs to address the critically low level of charging infrastructure and investment to support Northern Ireland’s transition to electric vehicles in the run-up to 2030.

Within the letter, NFDA shines light on the fact that:

  • As of 31 January 2023, there was a total of 37,055 chargepoints in the UK, with only 366 or 1% located in Northern Ireland. For comparison, Scotland has 3,915, Wales 1,657 and Greater London 12,817.[i]


Graph 1: Growth in chargepoints across the devolved nations [ii]

  • For NI to have a proportional share of public chargepoints, then Northern Ireland would need to build approximately 8,000 chargers by 2030, at a rate of over 1000 chargepoints annually. However, its current installation rate stands at only 2% of what it needs to be to reach the 2030 target, with only a net increase of 21 public chargepoints between January 2022 and January 2023.[iii]


Graph 2: Chargepoint forecasting in NI (2020-2030)[iv]

  • Over the past year, the BEV market share in NI has increased by a disappointing 3% (from 9% to 12%), peaking in November 2022 at 14.5%.[v] With a staggering 334 BEVs per 1 rapid/ultra-fast public chargepoints existing in 2022.[vi]
  • The level of investment in Northern Ireland is found lacking in comparison to other places. The largest investment still remains to be the £3.27 million from the Levelling up fund. In comparison, the LEVI fund announced £381 million to local authorities across England and the Republic of Ireland launched a new strategy which will see €100 million spent on charging infrastructure over the next three years.

Sue Robinson continued: “It is critical that there is a sufficient charging network for electric vehicles in Northern Ireland to appeal to consumers and drive demand at a time where dealer networks are investing heavily.

“The current NI EV charging infrastructure is old, underperforming and broken in many instances and is disincentivising EV adoption considerably. To combat this, NFDA is calling for cross-party support on this important issue to ensure that developing the charging network is the key priority for the Transport Sector in NI and to put an end to the inertia that is all too common in Northern Ireland’s Public EV Charging projects.”

ENDS -

NOTES TO EDITORS -

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) is the leading representative body for automotive franchised retailers in the UK. In Northern Ireland, we represent some of the biggest companies in the motor trade industry, including Donnelly Group, Agnew Group and Charles Hurst Group. Our members make up a critical part of the Northern Ireland economy with automotive retail employing approximately 16,000 men and women across the country.

Adam Weeks, NFDA Communications Officer

Direct: 020 7307 3413

Mobile: 0788 003 9897

Email: adam.weeks@rmif.co.uk