Business partners are being sought by Wealden District Council to assist the local authority with expanding its EV charge point network.
The district area is one of the largest in the south east but as a rural local authority, it said commercial investment in public EV charging infrastructure has been ‘slow’.
The council said it was ‘at risk of lagging behind’ in the EV transition. But with 36 public car parks owned and controlled by the council in the area, it said there was opportunities to provide EV points. There are currently 17 publicly accessible car-charging connections across eight locations in Wealden.
Following the Cabinet decision, Wealden will begin exploring partnership options with private sector organisations to expand the EV charging network. It will work with neighbouring councils where possible. It will pursue the grant options available through the Office of Low Emission Vehicles.
As well as encouraging residents who are not able to install their own off-road charging facility to switch to electric vehicles, increasing the public provision of EV charging points is seen as an important factor in supporting local tourism, it said.
Councillor Roy Galley, cabinet member for economic development, said: ” “Vehicle emissions are the biggest contributor to global warming in Wealden. They account for nearly half our CO2 emissions. In our response to the climate emergency, we must do more to encourage electric vehicle technology.
“Looking to find private sector partners to share both the revenue and the risks involved in expanding the EV charging network in Wealden is the best way to proceed,” said Cllr Galley. “It will also enable us to seek grant funding for areas where charge points won’t initially be commercially viable. It will also help us keep on top of the latest technology.”