Northern Ireland moved closer to a full electric vehicle infrastructure on Monday 25th October with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department for Regional Development (DRD), Department of Environment (DOE) and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
DRD and DOE also agreed to consider incentives to make electric vehicles easier for customers to buy and run, while the Renault-Nissan Alliance will share information and ideas relating to charging networks, energy supply and electric vehicle training.
Present at the Northern Irish Assembly at Stormont to sign the agreement were; John McMillen, Chief Executive for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Nicolas Bozek of Nissan Europe, Conor Murphy, Minister for Regional Development, and Thierry Sybord, Managing Director of Renault UK.
Thierry Sybord said:
“Today’s agreement with Northern Ireland provides a unique opportunity to explore cross-border collaboration with the Republic of Ireland and access to their 1,500 charging points in the South. This, coupled with the Northern Ireland Government’s commitment to renewable energy, makes Northern Ireland an ideal market for the Alliance’s range of zero emission 100% electric vehicles, including four Renault vehicles by 2012.”
Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd agreed:
“By working together, Governments and car makers can help to make a real difference to the quality of life for future generations. Nissan looks forward to delivering the first electric vehicle from the Alliance in early 2011 – the Nissan LEAF, a car that is as much fun to drive as it is good for the environment.”
The DRD and DOE will also jointly lead a “Plugged-in Places” bid. The “Plugged-in Places” project is run by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). The initiative provides funding for electric vehicle infrastructure to locations which submit a successful bid. The Northern Irish bid will be supported by a consortium including local councils and representatives of the IT, motor and energy industries.