PLANS for Hampshire County Council to work with partners to boost the number of electric vehicle charging points across the county have been welcomed.
Councillor Mel Kendal, the authority’s executive member for economic development, also supported the move to a low-carbon economy.
The council currently manages 14 charging points and is looking to use grants and investment funding to support further expansion of the charging network at its public sites and car parks, for residents and visitors to use.
Mr Kendal explained: “The market for electric vehicles is growing, with more than 88,000 new electric or hybrid vehicles registered in the UK in 2016 compared to 36,000 in 2013. However, more support is needed to accelerate this growth which is why we are looking to work with others to expand the public charging point network. This would give drivers the confidence that they’ll never be far from a charge point in Hampshire.
“Furthermore, it will help reduce carbon emissions, and help Hampshire residents to travel to our sites such as country parks and car parks, as well as provide a network for the county council’s own vehicles, to reduce our vehicle fuel costs.”
Hampshire County Council has a strong track record in reducing carbon emissions. Latest figures show it has cut carbon dioxide by 35.8 per cent compared to 2010 figures, and is on track to reach its 40 per cent savings target by 2025 – with the ultimate aim of being carbon neutral by 2050.
The reduction in carbon emissions has saved the local authority around £2.9m in avoided energy costs (at current rates) with a further £200,000 carbon tax savings per year.
A market consultation is being launched to ensure the county council’s deployment of electric vehicle charging offers the right operating solution for all users, as well as identifying the best sites throughout Hampshire for new charging points.
Companies interested in working with the county council can find a prior information notice at the Official Journal of the European Union (ojeu.com) or can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.