College confirms role as project partner on €6.4 million cross border programme to install new public charging network.
South West College has recently been announced as one of seven programme partners on a new initiative designed to increase access to public charging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in a bid to encourage reduced carbon emissions.
The FASTER Project will see the introduction of 73 Rapid Charging Points across Northern Ireland, the Border Region of the Republic of Ireland and Western Scotland with €6.4 million funding under the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)’s INTERREG VA programme. The project which is being led by East Border Region is working with local and district councils across the three project jurisdictions to identify suitable locations for this much needed infrastructure which will help revolutionise public charging for Electric Vehicles.
South West College is taking the lead on the behavioural change aspect of the project, developing promotional campaigns and initiatives to address public concerns with existing charging infrastructure and producing materials to support the transition to low emission vehicles. The FASTER charging network will be installed on a phased basis over the next 18 months supported by a series of public awareness and community engagement events. A public survey was recently carried out to analyse current driver behaviours and public attitudes towards Electric Vehicles across each of the project jurisdictions and with 1,500 responses received the feedback will provide direction for much of the public engagement activity moving forward.
Commenting on the college’s role in the initiative, FASTER Project Officer, Donal Monaghan said:
“South West College is delighted to be a partner on the FASTER Project. The college is one of the UK’s leading educational institutions in the area of renewable energy research and has a wealth of experience working with project partners across Europe on emerging technologies and sustainability. The sales of Electric Vehicles are increasing locally and globally and we need to ensure that the infrastructure to support this transition is in place to help drivers overcome any anxieties they may have.
As the UK government gets set to introduce a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel fuelled cars by 2030 now is the time to introduce local and regional drivers to the benefits of Electric Vehicles and in turn help reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.”
The FASTER Project consortium includes Ulster University, University of Strathclyde, HiTrans, Louth County Council and Dundalk Institute of Technology. The project is led by East Border Region Ltd based in Newry.
As one of several councils in Northern Ireland supporting the FASTER Project, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Chairman, Councillor Errol Thompson added:
“Climate change is one of the most significant issues facing this and indeed future generations and we must commit to doing what we can to ensuring a more sustainable infrastructure for the future.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is delighted to support the FASTER project. I welcome the significant investment in the Electric Rapid Charging vehicle point network, which will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging increased use of more environmentally friendly means of powering vehicles. I am confident that this significant investment will lead to an increase in charging stations in our district and will add to the growth of the electric vehicle market.
Whilst supporting the council Climate Strategy, this investment will also support the UK government’s Road to Zero strategy which has been recently revised signalling its intention to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.”
Further information about the FASTER Project will be available from a dedicated website and social media channels scheduled to launch this September, but until then regular updates will be available from the South West College website and Facebook page.
For further information on the FASTER Project please contact: Donal.firstname.lastname@example.org