Electric vehicle owners in Northern Ireland have been given a boost with news that a Belfast start-up is to install 1,500 new charging points.
Weev said it plans to invest £20 million in its network of chargers which will be situated at over 350 locations across the province.
A total of six of those locations will be ultra-rapid charging hubs where drivers will be able to fully top-up their vehicles in less than 20 minutes.
The company said the move was an attempt to address the “paucity of charging infrastructure in Northern Ireland” as highlighted by former infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon.
Weev was co-founded by Thomas O’Hagan, the Weev’s chief operating officer and former founder of IT company b4B Group, who said the company has assembled a team with deep experience in the sector.
“We’re delighted to have pulled together such a strong team of experienced people to help us deliver our plan of rolling out an EV charging network for EV drivers in Northern Ireland that is fit for purpose, maintained, and supported locally,” he said. “With the current situation around fuel prices, consumers are now thinking seriously about the switch to an EV, but they need to make that switch knowing that their charging requirements will be met should they need it on any given journey.
Mr O’Hagan said the roll out of the charging stations has already begun with all 1,500 expected to be in place by the end of 2024. As well as the infrastructure, Weev said it will also offer leasing of electric vehicles as part of its wide ranging investment.
Others on the company’s management team include chief executive Philip Rainey, chief finance officer Graeme Thompson board chair David Gavaghan and director Brian Loughran.
“We have been lobbying to create an environment that was investible for commercial operators to bring new public charging infrastructure to Northern Ireland,” Mark McCall from Electric Vehicle Association Northern Ireland, said. “We are delighted that Weev has stepped forward to help make this happen.
“EV drivers in Northern Ireland have been crying out for action and we are really looking forward to seeing the progress the company makes with its planned roll out.”