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Northern Ireland Has Worst Access To Electric Vehicle Chargers Says Study

New data has revealed the top ten local authorities with the fewest environmentally conscious drivers.

The study, conducted by accident compensation experts, examined the number of ultra-low emission licensed vehicles in each U.K. local authority, according to the most recent data collected in the third quarter of 2023 from GOV.UK. The percentage of ultra-low emission vehicles was then compared against the number of all licensed vehicles to determine the local authorities with the least eco-friendly drivers in 2024.

Fermanagh and Omagh takes the top spot with the lowest percentage of environmentally friendly vehicles. In the third quarter of 2023, the Northern Ireland local authority had 514 ultra-low emission vehicles compared to 92,100 with all fuel types, equating to only 0.56% of all vehicles.

Mid Ulster is the second worst local authority for sustainable drivers. The Northern Ireland local authority has 777 ultra-low emission licenced vehicles. There are 113,200 licenced vehicles in the area, 0.69% of which are battery-powered, plug-in hybrid or other electric vehicles.

Blaenau Gwent takes the bronze medal. In the Welsh local authority, 0.73% of all licensed vehicles are ultra-low emission vehicles. There are 301 battery-powered, plug-in or other electric vehicles in the local authority compared to 41,300 of all licensed vehicles, according to the data from GOV.UK.

Causeway Coast and Glens and Derry City and Strabane rank in joint-fourth, with 0.79% of all licensed vehicles being environmentally friendly. Causeway Coast and Glens has 789 ultra-low emission vehicles, while Derry City and Strabane has 754.

Newry, Mourne and Down is the fifth worst local authority for eco-friendly drivers. There are 127,100 licensed vehicles in the Northern Ireland local authority. Out of these, 1,075 are ultra-low emission vehicles, making up 0.85% of all vehicles.

According to the study, 0.96% of all licensed vehicles are ultra-low emission in Na h-Eileanan Siar (Outer Hebrides). The Scottish local authority has 19,800 licensed vehicles on the road; 190 are battery-powered, plug-in or other electric vehicles, as reported by GOV.UK.

Barrow-in-Furness and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon rank in joint-seventh place, with 0.97% of all licensed vehicles being ultra-low emission vehicles. Barrow-in-Furness has 363 battery-powered, plug-in or other electric vehicles, while Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon has 1,478.

In joint-eighth place, Mid and East Antrim has 977 ultra-low emission vehicles, and Merthyr Tydfil has 321. As such, 0.98% of all licensed vehicles are electric in both local authorities.

Allerdale ranks in ninth. Out of 69,000 licensed vehicles, 705 are electric vehicles, which means that 1.02% of all licensed vehicles are environmentally friendly in the local authority.

Gwynedd is the tenth worst local authority for environmentally conscious drivers. The Welsh local authority has 861 ultra-low emission vehicles. Out of 83,600 vehicles, this accounts for 1.03% of all vehicles on the road.

A spokesperson at said: “Electric vehicles save more than three times the amount of carbon emissions than petrol cars. This study has highlighted the local authorities with the lowest percentage of electric vehicles to fuel-based vehicles, with the least environmentally friendly being found in Fermanagh and Omagh, Mid Ulster and Blaenau Gwent.

“It is interesting to see mostly Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish local authorities in the top ten worst locations for environmentally conscious drivers. In 2024, Zap-Map recorded 18,628 electric vehicle charging stations in Greater London compared to only 4,696 in Scotland. Therefore, with a greater emphasis on funding electric vehicle charging stations in Northern England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, these areas may become more accessible for electric vehicle drivers in the future.” 

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