Harrogate Borough Council secures funding for electric vehicle charging points

1 April 2014

Drivers of electric vehicles in the Harrogate district are to be given a much needed boost after Harrogate Borough Council secured government funding towards the installation of two electric vehicle rapid charging points.

The awarding of a £69,000 grant by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) follows the recent launch of the national ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign, a jointly funded partnership between the government and car industry, which encourages motorists to learn more about ultra-low emission vehicles and consider switching to pure electric, plug-in hybrid, or extended-range electric vehicles.

The installation of the rapid charging points, which can charge an electric car in less than 30 minutes, will reassure drivers of electric vehicles that they can undertake longer journeys as easily as if they were using a conventional car.

Councillor Margaret Atkinson, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Rural Affairs said: The government has recently announced its intention to invest more than £9 million to boost the number of charging points for electric vehicles, and it is really encouraging that the Harrogate district will be able to take advantage of this funding.

The number of people purchasing these types of vehicle is rapidly growing and the installation of rapid charging points will give drivers the peace of mind that they can charge their vehicles while they are away from home, extending the range of their journeys.

There are numerous advantages to owning such a vehicle. Electric car owners do not have to pay car tax and the cost of a journey can be from just 2p per mile, which is a huge saving when compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle. The rapid charging point will likely be run on a pay as you go scheme with a small charge being made for the charging along with a small fee transaction fee. These charges will be lower than the costs of one litre of fuel.

Of course, these forms of transport also have a significant positive impact on the environment with a possible 50-60 per cent reduction in CO2 and zero fuel related emissions of air pollutants therefore improving the air quality. This in turn can improve the health of local people. And of course electric vehicles also have a significant impact on reducing vehicle noise.

The introduction of rapid charging points will also benefit businesses, such as taxi firms and bus companies, as they begin to embrace this technology. Out of little acorns grow oak trees, and undoubtedly as time progresses, and demand rises, a handful of charging points will one day be transformed into a network of recharging stations across the district.

A report is now being prepared to the council to secure the additional match funding required to implement the project.

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