Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has presented the Rathlin Development and Community Association with the keys to their new community e-vehicle.
The Minister had previously announced that Rathlin Island was to get Northern Ireland's first community e-transport scheme funded through her Blue/Green Infrastructure Fund. The scheme includes the purchase of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for community use and 20 e-bikes, which will initially be available to islanders and visitors working on the island.
Presenting the keys to Michael Cecil, Chair of the Rathlin Development and Community Association, Minister Mallon said:
"I visited Rathlin earlier this year to announce the e-transport scheme so I am delighted to see the first phase of this exciting development for the people of Rathlin come to fruition with the delivery of this car.
"Rathlin has the ambition to be a carbon neutral island and I want to do all I can to help them achieve this. I am committed to delivering cleaner, greener, sustainable infrastructure. From day one as Minister I have been using an electric vehicle as my Ministerial car and have been working to ensure that my Department and its Arms-Length Bodies in NI Water and Translink are making the same moves towards the use of electric vehicles.
"I also recently announced that I am driving forward decarbonisation in Northern Ireland by establishing a new EV charging task-force, to help us deliver a modern, reliable public electric vehicle charging infrastructure."
Continuing the Minister said:
"These are the changes we need to see to help us tackle the climate crisis and contribute to better health outcomes for all our population. I will continue to make positive steps to choose cleaner, greener travel.
"I look forward to returning to Rathlin next year when the electric bikes are delivered and the e-transport scheme is fully operational."
Michael Cecil, Chair of the Rathlin Development and Community Association said:
"The community are delighted to receive this e-car through Minister Mallon's Blue/Green Fund. The car is a significant step in helping us on our journey to becoming a 360 green destination."