Honeyford says it’s time for progress on electric vehicle charging for homes without a driveway

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson David Honeyford MLA has called for greater efforts to be made to enable people living in homes without a driveway to charge their electric vehicles.

David Honeyford Electric vehicles

The Lagan Valley MLA has also raised the issue of planning regulations delaying the installation of charging points with the Department for Infrastructure. Chargers are currently subject to full planning permission.

Mr Honeyford said: “Charging on our EV public network is considerably more expensive than home charging, and not as convenient for daily usage.

“Northern Ireland has a terrible record when it comes to EV charging points. We have the poorest infrastructure in these islands with only 23 charging points available per 100,000 people as of September 2023.

“Compare this to the South, where last year the Irish Government launched a national strategy with 100m Euro to be spent on its EV charging infrastructure over a three-year period.

“I have raised issues around the wider EV charging infrastructure with the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Infrastructure, particularly focused on the current the lack of options for homeowners restricted to on-street parking”

“Gully charging is a simple solution to enable cables to cross under the pavement and overhead charging arms are just two options that have been trialled in other places. Northern Ireland needs to be part of this development. This isn’t a question of one-size-fits-all. There will be a number of different approaches, all of which need consultation with disability sectors.

“I have also requested the Permanent Secretary looks at updating our current planning regulations to include EV public charging points as permitted development, as with other utilities. Currently each public charger has to go through the full planning permission process, which is adding to the delay of infrastructure roll out.”

“New developments in charging technology, both in the public network and in home charging must continue at pace if this is not to be seen as simply kicking the can down the road.”