COLERAINE Borough Council will be hosting an Ecar event in partnership with the Department of Environment and the Department for Regional Development.
The event will take place in Cloonavin, Council’s Civic headquarters on Wednesday 12th February, aiming to support businesses and residents of the Borough.
Ecars are designed to reduce the costs of running a vehicle whilst helping the local environment. This pilot event provides and opportunity for businesses and members of the public to speak to professionals direct about the cars and have a closer look at what’s available.
Coleraine Borough Council’s Environmental Services and Economic Development departments are working together to hold the information session with an opportunity to test drive on the day.
Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor David Harding who will be hosting the event and welcoming the Ministers to the Borough commented, “This is a great opportunity for those in the Borough to investigate all areas of the Ecars as well as the options of saving money and saving our local environment. This type of car may not be for everyone, but it has great potential and I recommend our residents and businesses to come along and see for themselves.
“Technology has greatly advanced over the years and there are now a number of car makes and models to choose from. Council aim to have over a dozen cars at Cloonavin on the day, to give everyone a chance to view and have a test drive. This is a FREE event for everyone, businesses are encouraged to come along in the morning and public in the afternoon.”
Over 160 electric vehicle charging points have been installed in many towns and cities across Northern Ireland, some of which are already in the Borough of Coleraine. To support the purchase and running costs of Ecar, central government is providing a number of grant opportunities. A grant can be accessed to reduce the initial costs of purchasing an ecar, as well as a grant of up to £1,500 to install a charging point in a workplace or in the home. This is the first project of its kind in Northern Ireland.
The benefits to the environment are immense, with no tail-pipe CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, the electric car is a step towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. Pure electric vehicles do not use petrol or diesel. With fuel costs being a cause of concern to many, the switch to electric vehicles is becoming more appealing.
Essentially the electric motor replaces the petrol or diesel engine supporting a cleaner environment. Electric vehicles currently available in Northern Ireland start at £25,000 depending on the model, after the £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant is applied. However, new electric vehicles are expected on the market imminently, with prices starting at around £13,500 (including grant).
The attraction for businesses is the reduction in running costs compared to current vehicles, resulting in 80% less than a petrol or diesel equivalent. Costs are also reduced with electric vehicles being exempt from paying fuel duty, vehicle excise duty, company car tax, van benefit charge and fuel benefit charge.
Electric vehicles have enhanced capital allowances benefits with a 100 per cent first-year allowance. Businesses can relieve the entire cost of an electric car or van against taxable profits in the year of acquisition. This is definitely a plus point for any business. The Office for Low Emissions offers a 25% grant for the purchase of an electric car - up to £5,000, and a 20% grant for the purchase of an electric van - up to £8,000.
All of these opportunities are there for the taking to save money and ultimately take care of the environment. The ecar is here to stay and Coleraine will be supporting ecars in the Borough. Further details on the information event to be hosted in Cloonavin will follow, and will be available on line, www.colerainebc.gov.uk, or social media #ColeraineBC. Alternatively contact Coleraine Borough Council’s environmental services 028 7034 7171, or for more details on ecars, information is available on www.ecarni.com.