A FASTER move to Electric

Facilitating A Sustainable Transition to EV’s in Regions (FASTER) is a €6.4 million EU INTERREG VA funded project.  The aim of the project is to help decrease 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 assist drivers as they make the transition to electric vehicles.  In the future the FASTER Project will ensure that there will be an increased number of charging points for EV owners.  The project is led by East Border Region Ltd with partners including South West College, University of Ulster, Sligo IT and Dundalk IT.  The Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the Department for Transport in Ireland have provided Match-Funding for the project, as well as HITRANS and the University of Strathclyde.

In Sligo County Council the FASTER Project is currently identifying appropriate locations in the county for the essential infrastructure which is planned to be installed on a rolling basis over the next 6 to 18 months.  Emphasizing the significance of the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), which oversees 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 an eco-friendlier form of transport which will have a reduced impact on the environment”.

East Border Region Chairman Councillor 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.”

It is estimated that up to 80% of charging will take place at the homes of EV owners.  The biggest obstruction for people considering the transition to a sustainable vehicle is the quantity of chargers presently accessible for public use.  This barrier will be oppressed by the completion of the FASTER Project and it will educate drivers as to their options of electric vehicles and the benefits they can deliver.

The public are being called upon by the FASTER Project partnership in collaboration with Transport Research Partnership to participate in a short survey which will examine the current travel needs and behaviours of vehicle users across Sligo.  This survey will identify attitudes on vehicle ownership, fuel choice, the nature of trips that the drivers are making day-to-day and will discover the factors and influences which are leading the shift towards electric vehicles.  It is hoped that the instillation of these new charging points will encourage more citizens to opt for a ‘greener’ sustainable form of travel.

Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, T.D. welcomed the project saying:

“I’m delighted to see these 73 rapid charging stations being funded as part of the EU INTERREG VA programme. People across all three jurisdictions will benefit enormously and hopefully this type of infrastructure will incentivise people to make the switch away from fossil fuel vehicles”.