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Two of three new EV charging machines installed in Pelham Place car park (photo: Russell Jacobs).

EV charging points on the rise

Hastings Borough Council’s Cabinet has allocated funding for the installation of new EV charging points in the town, in line with its climate change strategy. New charging points have also been installed in Morrisons car park as part of a national roll-out. Nick Terdre reports.

Last week’s meeting of the council’s Cabinet approved funding of £35,000 for the installation of 15 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points in town centre car parks, including 10 at Priory Street multi-storey car park, two at Carlisle Parade and two in Pelham Place.

Notice in Pelham Place car park (photo: Russell Jacobs).

Four new charging points have already been installed at Pelham Place car park and Marina car park in St Leonards, replacing points which had become faulty. The Pelham Place facilities were paid for by a grant of £15,000 from the Foreshore Trust, as decided by a meeting of the Charity Committee in March.

According to the report to the Charity Committee, Hastings was recorded as having eight charging points, two of them operated by the council.

The expansion of EV charging infrastructure forms part of the council’s climate strategy action plan for 2020/21. The plan calls for the “delivery of 15 public charging points, providing 30 charging bays in the borough by 31 March 2021.”

The £35,000  allocation constitutes match funding for a £15,000 grant which the Town Deal Board applied for from the Accelerated Towns Fund last month to support the expansion of the town centre EV infrastructure.

As the total cost of the programme is £50,000, funds to complete it will have to be found from elsewhere if the grant application fails.

Charging up at one of the new points in Marina car park (photo: Nick Terdre).

When the council drew up its climate change strategy and action plan aimed at achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, “We found that 26% of the town’s carbon emissions are from transport, therefore transferring to electric vehicles is key to meeting our objectives,” said Cllr Maya Evans, lead member for Natural Environment and Leisure.

“These EV charge points are the beginning of more to come, we are also urging our partners at East Sussex County Council to take up their responsibilities and install on-street charge points in order to allow residents, especially those living in flats, to buy and charge electric vehicles.

“We are also encouraging our commercial partners to install EV charging in their car parks.”

Morrisons moves

One company which has independently moved to provide charging points for its customers is Morrisons, which has installed two points in its Queens Road supermarket.

These are part of a programme for installing 100 rapid charging points in supermarkets around the country which was due to be completed by the end of 2019. This, the company said, would be the “nation’s largest network of rapid electric charging points for electric vehicles, allowing customers to charge the majority of cars from flat to full battery in under 45 minutes.”

Unlike in council car parks, no parking fee is payable by the supermarket’s customers.

Photo: Nick Terdre.

The facilities form part of the GeniePoint network provided by Engie EV Solutions, part of the Engie energy group. The electricity, most of which is provided by the company from zero-carbon sources, costs customers 30p per kilowatt hour.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, EVs – both all-electric and hybrids – accounted for one in 10 of all vehicles sold in August. Between now and 2035, 500 chargers a day need to be installed around the country if the government target of phasing out sales of new petrol and diesel cars is to be achieved by that year, the industry body told the Financial Times.

The limited availability of charging facilities and fear of running short of power on longer journeys are significant factors holding back EV sales, a recent survey for SMMT indicated.





Posted 17:46 Tuesday, Sep 8, 2020 In: Transport

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