New start up Weev plans £20m electric vehicle infrastructure network for Northern Ireland

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Belfast-based start-up Weev has announced plans to invest £20 million in a new public electric vehicle (EV) charging network in over 350 locations across Northern Ireland.

In total, the company plans to install 1,500 new charging points before the end of 2024, including at six major ultra-rapid charging hub sites that will see drivers able to fully ‘top-up’ their vehicles in less than 20 minutes.

This investment will help address the paucity of charging infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

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This lack of infrastructure was highlighted by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon setting up an EV Task force to seek to address the lack of commercial operators in the space.

Photo by Photo by Darren Kidd/PresseyePhoto by Photo by Darren Kidd/Presseye
Photo by Photo by Darren Kidd/Presseye

Charging points will be available in convenient and strategic locations such as car parks. Weev will also offer EV managed fleet solutions and leasing.

Co-founded by Thomas O’Hagan, who also co-founded IT and telecoms company b4b Group, Weev’s management team are no strangers to the business sector having been in charge of various successful renewable infrastructure and major commercial businesses based in Northern Ireland.

Thomas, who will take up the role of chief commercial officer in this new venture, is joined in the executive team by Philip Rainey as chief executive officer and Graeme Thompson as chief finance officer.

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The board will be chaired by David Gavaghan with Brian Loughran joining as director.

Speaking on the announcement, Thomas O’Hagan, said: “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.

“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.

“Our roll out has just commenced and we plan to have the first users on our network by mid-2022.

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“In total by the end of 2024, we expect to have completed with the installation of a network of 1,500 charging points operational in strategic locations across Northern Ireland.”

Welcoming the investment in this vital infrastructure, Mark McCall from Electric Vehicle Association Northern Ireland (EVANI), added: “We have been lobbying to create an environment that was investible for commercial operators to bring new public charging infrastructure to Northern Ireland.

“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.”