First rapid charge sites go live in Kent

New rapid charging points in Kent are now available for use in Thanet following installation by the council.

The sites, in two car parks in Birchington and Margate, have a bay for taxi and private hire operators and another bay for public use.

They are the first of 28 new charging points for use by taxis and the general public from the local authority, offering charging speeds of up to 50kwh.

Future sites in Canterbury, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Swale, and Tunbridge Wells will come into operation over the next few months.

KCC was awarded £180,000 from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to install the rapid chargers and has been working with district and borough councils to get them installed.

KCC Cabinet member for highways and transport Michael Payne said: “As we are committed to helping business shift towards electric vehicles, I’m delighted to see these charging points being installed, giving KCC another opportunity to act and help taxi firms switch to electric vehicles thereby reducing carbon emissions and traffic noise as well as improving air quality, which is a major concern for us all in Kent.”

KCC cabinet member for the environment Susan Carey said: “We’re committed to improving the charging infrastructure and encouraging a shift towards low-emission vehicles.

“We’re currently working with our parish council partners to install chargers in smaller communities and have appointed Connected Kerb to carry out this work. Installations will begin at the start of 2021.

“Additionally we are developing a project to create a Kent wide EV charger network with our district and borough council partners.

“To date over 150 car park locations have been put forward for consideration and we’re hoping around 300 chargers will be installed by end of 2022.”

Cllr Rick Everitt, leader of Thanet District Council, said: “It’s extremely positive that these new charging points have been installed in Thanet as we continue to take practical steps to help reduce pollution and reliance on fossil fuels in the district.

“Having declared a climate emergency in July 2019, initiatives like these are a key priority for us.”

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