Agenda item


            The Chairperson welcomed Mr Gary McRae, Head of Electric Mobility for Urban Foresight, to the meeting.  Mr McRae thanked members of the Committee for the opportunity to present the update on the EV strategy for Northern Ireland.  He said they were a consultancy based in Scotland who had been working with electric vehicle infrastructure for around 12 years, working closely with local authorities.  He outlined the framework for the work that they were doing with Belfast City Council and the challenges that were often faced.  He said there were 3 key areas to transition; vehicles, infrastructure and people and highlighted there was quite a lot to be done to make the transition smooth.   Those 3 things needed to grow simultaneously to make sure the transition was smooth.  They used these 3 themes as a framework to help develop the strategy for Belfast. He discussed the framework that had been created for Belfast City Council and highlighted the steps that would be taken to implement the smooth transition, including not only areas that a city council had control over but also the areas that they would have indirect control. 


            He went on to outline their approach to the strategy along with the implementation plan.  He added that they were engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the policy sat within the wider context of the plans for Belfast. He outlined the vehicle sectors that were included in the strategy and said that they started with local authority fleets to ensure that the city led by example. He said that bikes, trucks, buses and micro mobility devices were not included in the strategy due to the type of infrastructure they required but they would still be considered throughout the process.  Mr McRae showed an example of what the mapping would look like for the Council with the long term plan to 2045 and explained that this would be broken into realistic chunks to ensure targets could be met by 2030. He outlined the AST (Area, Site Technology) model that they would use to plan the infrastructure and showed the heat maps they would developing to see what was possible for each area of the city.  He showed a number of examples of the types of on street parking that could be used and also the positioning of charge points at public car parks and discussed how they built in scope for the development in technology.  He said there were a number of business model options that local authorities could use, including looking to private investors as well as grant schemes.  He concluded his presentation by outlining the challenges and opportunities for the city of Belfast. 


            Members of the Committee raised a number of queries around the presentation, including the use of council owned carparks to install EV charging points and asked if this would have a detrimental impact on the revenue generated at these spaces.  Mr McRae said these queries would be addressed throughout the duration of the strategy process and welcomed any input from the Council to ensure these matters were addressed. 


            The Chairperson thanked Mr McRae for his presentation and said he looked forward to receiving future updates on the strategy development process.




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