In partnership with ChargePoint UK, Torridge District Council has installed some of the first publicly accessible electric car charging points in car parks in Northern Devon. With the Government announcing that petrol and diesel cars will be phased out after 2040 and investment and ownership of electrical vehicles continuing to rise, Councillors have decided to act now to provide facilities for both tourists and residents at strategic locations across the district (Bideford, Torrington, Holsworthy, and Appledore). The timing coincides with recent climate change protests staged by local children calling for a reduction in emissions including private transport, with a switch to electric cars seen as one of the ways to achieve this.
The 55KW rapid-charging units that have been installed represent the latest in charging technology and have the capacity to charge two vehicles at a time from empty to 80% in 30 minutes. The joint venture with ChargePoint means that the up-front costs to implementation are lower, allowing the Council to take advantage of subsequent improvements in technology which is accelerating at an ever faster rate. Since 2011 this has already seen the range of electric cars increase from 100 to 310 miles. A revenue sharing agreement will offset the loss of a small number of parking spaces but it’s hoped that tourists will in turn be attracted to the area thanks to the charging facilities to help them with their journey planning.
Councillor Bob Hicks – Lead Member for the Economy said:
“The Council have chosen to install this technology as we recognise and understand the importance of creating an infrastructure capable of supporting the rise in popularity in electric vehicles. The arrangements we have in place will allow us the flexibility to adapt our approach as the technology advances. The publicly accessible and popular locations mean that both visitors and residents will have a convenient option to recharge their vehicles while visiting local shops and leisure facilities at the same time.”