100 rapid charging points for EVs will be installed across rural parts of Suffolk, the county council has announced.
The council has reached out to interested parish and town councils and non-profit organisations, to put in fast chargers where there are currently none.
The funding will cover the installation and set-up costs, meaning very little expense for the hosts and possibly creating a source of income for them.
This project is the first to benefit from the council’s Suffolk 2020 Fund, which was announced earlier this year. It is a £3m fund for the council’s own projects to bid into, which must help address its climate emergency declaration and improve Suffolk for all residents in years to come.
The £300,000 award will link into the council’s existing Plug In Suffolk project which was launched in February 2019. It is the UK’s first ‘fully open’ public fast charging network for electric vehicles, meaning drivers simply pay by contactless payment with no need to register their details.
Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said:“Ultra-low emission vehicle ownership has nearly trebled in the last three years in Suffolk and I want to this to continue by making it even more convenient to charge up across the county. I’d like to see fast charging points at our rural village halls, community buildings, sports clubs, places of worship and in small villages. We can now make this a reality and hopefully provide the host with a source of income too.
“If you look at a map of existing charging points in the county, there are big gaps – and one of the barriers to people switching to an electric vehicle is lack of confidence about finding a place to charge. This funding will help fill those gaps and give people that confidence. Once these charging points are installed, Suffolk will have one of the best rural charging networks in the country.
“We will be contributing to better air quality, reducing carbon emissions and cutting down our reliance on fossil fuels – all supporting our climate emergency declaration and ambition to create the greenest county.
“A better charging network can also help Suffolk economically. The UK’s electric vehicle owners can look fondly on Suffolk as an even more welcoming destination, as they will be able to charge their cars right across the county.”
The fast charging points supplied by Plug In Suffolk do not require any registration, membership or apps.
There have already been expressions of interest for charging points from around 20 suitable sites. In the coming weeks, officers from Suffolk County Council will be contacting town and parish councils to investigate more possible locations.