A £4million public and private sector team-up will see 150 electric car charge points installed in Exeter over the next two years.
Devon County Council (DCC) has formed a consortium with companies ZAPINAMO and Gamma Energy for the StreetHUBZ project.
It will see the number of electric car charging points in the city increase by 400 per cent; there are currently 30.
As part of the scheme, Co-Cars will provide a number of electric vehicles through its car-sharing service, allowing the public to test drive one.
The project follows a successful funding bid supported by Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, to Innovate UK, a government pot investing in science and research.
“Many people want to exchange their petrol car for an electric car, but because of a lack of infrastructure they have been unwilling to take that step,” said Cllr Hughes.
“This project will allow people to try before they buy, and I have no doubt that it will significantly increase the uptake and use of electric vehicles in Exeter.”
ZAPINAMO will design, build, install and maintain the EV ‘StreetHUBZ’ chargers and Gamma Energy will own and operate the infrastructure.
The innovative chargers use a cutting-edge low power electricity supply and energy storage system, which means they are easy to install and can charge vehicles quickly.
ZAPINAMO CEO Ian Stillie said: “This is a massive step forward for the UK and as Exeter is now leading the charge in EV charging technologies in geographic areas where the Grid capacity is particularly vulnerable and all important air quality targets need addressing fast.”
Councillor Rob Hannaford, county councillor for Exwick and St Thomas, said: “Up to now the argument has been that it’s difficult to encourage more people to use electric cars until there are more charging points, and more charging points won’t be provided until there are more electric cars on the road.
“This partnership with the private sector helps break that cycle. Fewer petrol cars in Exeter will lead to a reduction in emissions, cleaner air and an improved quality of life for residents.”
The Exeter electric car charge points project forms part of the latest county council scheme to help reduce carbon emissions in Devon.
In February, DCC declared a ‘climate emergency’ and formed the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG).
The authority has also applied for EU funding which, if successful, would enable a network of charge points across Devon to be delivered in public car parks.
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