South West College is inviting the public to participate in new survey examining driving behaviors and attitudes to Electric Vehicles (EVs)
The FASTER Project, bringing increased access to high-speed Electric Vehicle charging points, is inviting the public to tell us about their travel patterns and needs, by completing a short survey, available at:
Recent weeks and months have seen significant media and public interest in the growing numbers of Battery Electric and Hybrid vehicles on roads across Northern Ireland. EV sales have seen record increases in the first six months of 2021 and as governments across the globe are uniting in their efforts to tackle carbon emissions and climate change, future trends predict this growth will continue as sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles are phased out.
A recently announced €6.4 million EU INTERREG VA funded project led by, East Border Region Ltd in partnership with South West College, University of Ulster, Louth County Council & Dundalk IT will help reduce the impact of fossil fuels and transport emissions through the delivery of 73 new publicly accessible rapid charging points across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Border Region to support drivers as they make the switch to electric vehicles. Match-funding for the project has also been provided by the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department for Transport in Ireland, as well as HITRANS and the University of Strathclyde.
The FASTER [Facilitating a Sustainable Transition to EVs in the Region] Project is currently working with both Fermanagh and Omagh District Council & Mid Ulster District Council to identify suitable locations across the council area for this vital infrastructure which will be installed on a rolling basis over the next 6 to 18 months.
Underlining the importance of the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), which manages the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, said:
“As the effects of climate change increase dramatically we need to invest seriously in measures which will cut carbon emissions. Electric vehicles represent a more eco-friendly form of transport which will have a reduced impact on the environment.
“This new EU-funded project has been specifically designed to remove some of the obstacles that have previously discouraged people from choosing electric vehicles. It also represents one of the core objectives of the INTERREG VA Programme, which supports sustainable transport, on a cross-border basis.”
East Border Region Chairman Cllr Kyle Savage added “EBR are delighted to be Lead Partner on this innovative and genuinely cross-border project which will see essential Electric Vehicle infrastructure installed across the three jurisdictions. Electric Vehicles are an essential strategy in the immediate term to reduce local emissions and help improve local air quality.”
While estimates suggest that up to 80% of charging will take place at the homes of EV owners, the number of chargers currently available for public use is widely regarded as one of the key obstacles for those drivers considering the move to a more sustainable vehicle. The FASTER Project will deliver effective solutions to help overcome this barrier and will educate drivers as to their electric vehicle options and the benefits they can bring.
The FASTER Project partnership in collaboration with Transport Research Partnership is now calling on the public to participate in a short survey which will examine the current travel needs and behaviors of vehicle users across Northern Ireland. This survey will identify preferences on vehicle ownership, fuel choice, the types of journeys drivers are making daily and will explore the factors & influences which are leading the shift towards electric vehicles.
The public survey is available online until Tuesday 20th July and can be completed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FasterEVs