Coleraine entrepreneur keen to increase NI's electric vehicle charging points

  • Photo: Triex EV managing director Mark McGillion with electric vehicle user John Wilkinson

    A local company has installed the first ‘pay-as-you-charge’ electric vehicle charging point at residential apartments in Coleraine.

    Triex EV Limited's new charging point is located at Coleraine's luxury Adnahona apartments, meaning this is the first time this particular charger has been installed commercially in Ireland. 

    This installation comes after the Electric Vehicle Association Northern Ireland (EVANI) reported to Stormont’s Infrastructure Committee that the number of broken chargers across NI are making people less inclined to convert to electric cars, thus prompting almost 60% of drivers to consider returning to petrol or diesel vehicles because of the poor state of the region's charging infrastructure.

    There is no need to download an app for Triex EV's charger. Users can plug in their charging lead, choose the amount of time or value they would like to charge for, tap the front of the unit with their bank card, mobile phone or alternatively use chip and pin in order to pay.

    The funds are taken immediately from the customer's bank account and are deposited into the bank account of the property management company in charge of paying for the landlord's metered supply.

    The system is fully monitored using a remote back-office system, with any changes or updates being applied remotely.

    “These electric vehicle chargers make life easier for everyone," said Triex EV’s managing director, Mark McGillion, who has recently been shortlisted for Great British Entrepreneur Scale-Up Business of the Year.

    RELATED: NIE Networks plans to invest in supporting electric car charge points

    "Previously landlords that provided electric chargers would add the electricity cost into the overall management fee, which was absorbed by all tenants whether they used the chargers or not.

    "This was not an attractive proposition and led to many complaints. Our chargers are extremely convenient as residents and visitors simply pay straight away and only for the charge they use.”

    Triex is the first electric vehicle company to be signed by economic growth agency, Invest NI, and Mr McGillion added, “Since installing this unit we have had a spike in enquiries from business owners, property developers and retail parks who also see the value of this type of charger.

    "The main selling point is that they bill each user separately through a key fob or card using a RFI code, as well as a pay-as-you-charge function for visitors using their debit or credit card," he continued.

    "Individual tariffs can be set at the request of the site owner, and in any currency. This is the most convenient way to provide EV charging.

    "We have installed this type of charger in England and Scotland and it’s great to see it here in Northern Ireland. We know we have a long way to go to be on par with other countries when it comes to electric vehicle infrastructure, but we believe it is a positive step in the right direction.”

    RELATED: NI climate change target: 'More charging points needed for electric cars'

    Speaking in 2020, Caroline Willis, finance director of Shelbourne Motors said that "more charging points could encourage the move to fully electric.”

    She added that the government’s 2035 target for Battery Electric Vehicle-only sales is achievable, “but needs action now.”

    This target has been set by the government in order to achieve an “almost entirely zero emission fleet by 2050.”

    Northern Ireland currently has around 4,700 electric vehicles, which falls short of the 15,000 it should have at this point to meet government targets.

    Mark McCall from EVANI said, “We welcome all public and private investment around electric vehicle charging in Northern Ireland. Our members love their EVs and building out the infrastructure to support their growing numbers is vital as we transition to sustainable transport.”

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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