Council to fork out thousands more on electric car chargers

A Citroen 2CV makes use of one of Enniskillen's electric car charging points!

IT SEEMS more electric car charging points are on the way – even though existing ones across the county are practically unused.

Out of the 11 charging points in Fermanagh for electric cars installed in April, 2012, four have been used on less than a dozen occasions in over two years.

They are located in Derrylin (8), Maguiresbridge (10), Irvinestown and Cross Street, Enniskillen (10 times each).


The under-usage of E-charge points came up at this week’s meeting of Fermanagh District Council when members put forward three more locations -at the Castle Park Centre, Lisnaskea, the Bawnacre Centre, Irvinestown, and the Marble Arch Caves.

It costs £6,000 to instal a charging point but, the Department For Regional Development will pay £4,000, leaving the council to pay the remaining £2,000.

The Department’s E-car project had successfully bid for £600,000 funding from the Office of Low Emissions (OLEV) for installing 100 charging points on public sector properties.

Since charging points were installed in 11 locations across Fermanagh, some people welcomed the idea on environmental grounds, but some have remained sceptical.

E-car batteries must be periodically charged, and this is generally done by taking electricity from the power grid.

Charging times are limited by the capacity of the grid connection and these can range from a matter of minutes to achieve charges of around 80 per cent, to upwards of eight hours for a full recharge.

It’s that length of charging that concerns North Fermanagh councillor, Rosemary Barton.


“I have no evidence they are under-used, but I would like to see more if they were better used.

“I think the secret is the length of time it takes to charge the battery.

“I don’t have an electric car but if I had and I was going to Belfast, I may stop to charge the battery and a cup of coffee in Dungannon and, hopefully, I will be away in 15-20 minutes.

“But, I’m not going to hang about Dungannon for two hours.”

Her point has been borne out by the Topaz Service Station at Trory where the rapid charger has been used 186 times since April, 2012.

A spokesman, speaking to the Herald yesterday, said she was surprised there were so many electric cars about.

“It’s mainly all passing trade.

“We are on the main road and, because there’s a big carpark, it’s handy for people to come in, plug in and have a cup of coffee while they wait.

“At the start, we did wonder how it would go. It was something we had no control over, but we feel it’s definitely a good thing.”

Not surprisingly, Councillor Barton wants to know if the three proposed E-charging points will have a rapid charger.

And, she also requested the locations and the usage of the existing 11 charge points since they were installed in April, 2012.

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