Drivers of electric vehicles will soon have greater choice about when and where to charge their cars following Cotswold District Council’s approval for more charging stations to be installed in four council owned car parks.
In total, ten new electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs), providing twenty connection points, are expected to be installed during the first phase of the works as the Council looks to respond to the climate emergency by providing more sustainable transport options and anticipate the future needs of its residents following the Government’s announcement that sales of new petrol and diesel cars will cease from 2030.
Under the proposals, the existing but now outdated and decommissioned units at The Beeches (Cirencester) and Old Market Way (Moreton-in-Marsh) car parks will be upgraded with new 50kW rapid chargers.
The roll out, which will be delivered by EB Charging, will also see the car parks at the Council’s Trinity Road offices (Cirencester) and Rissington Road (Bourton-on-the-Water) receive EVCPs for the first time. The chargers at the Trinity Road offices will be available to the public and it is hoped they will be of particular benefit to nearby residents.
Councillor Rachel Coxcoon, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Forward Planning at Cotswold District Council, said: “We have seen a rapid rise in the use of the current EVCP points in our District Council car parks and nationally the take up of electric vehicles has surged. Upping the provision of EVCPs will make it easier for those residents, businesses and visitors to our district who have already made the switch to EV to charge their vehicles and avoid ‘range anxiety.’
The new infrastructure will also play a vital role in encouraging those who are considering buying an EV, but do not have anywhere to charge it at home, to take the plunge. While the chargers will start with a simple standard tariff, work will begin immediately on collecting usage data so that the Council can work out whether it is possible to provide cheaper overnight charging for residents in the future.”
The work is part of a wider plan for introducing EVCPs throughout the district, however, the decision to start with council owned car parks will enable the first-phase installations to happen quickly - particularly those sites with existing electricity supply in place - and are readily accessible to the public twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
It is hoped the replacement units will be installed in the Beeches car park and Old Market Way car park in April, with the installation at Trinity Road following in late summer. The works at Rissington Road will coincide with wider improvements to the car park, including resurfacing, which are scheduled to take place in the autumn.
Councillor Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance at the District Council, said: “With around forty five percent of our district’s carbon emissions linked to local transport, doing what we can to support a reduction in the number of petrol and diesel vehicles on the road will bring positive environmental benefits and improve air quality, aiding public health. To accelerate the delivery of this key project, the Council is committed to pushing ahead with the proposals with full provision for the costs in our medium term financial plan. However, we anticipate that some of the capital costs for the new units will be met from grant funding available from the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles which supports local authorities to provide on-street charging points, including those in publicly accessible car parks.”
Following the initial roll out of installations, further sites will be assessed and costed for EVCPs at Cirencester, Stow-on-the-Wold and Tetbury as part of the second phase of the project. Subject to future funding, the Council hopes that extra sites can be agreed to provide a wider geographic spread.