The Electric Car Challenge
West Devon Borough Council's Hub Committee will be discussing an opportunity to install additional public electric car charging points when they meet next week.
The Committee will then decide whether to enter the Devon and Torbay Residential Chargepoint Scheme.
A recent survey suggests some residents consider a lack of public charging points influenced their decision whether to switch to an electric vehicle. This scheme will enable access to grant funding for the installation of a dual electric car charging point at Pilgrims Drive car park, Bere Alston. This location meets the eligibility criteria for the scheme, as it is near a residential area which lacks off-street parking and therefore, provides an opportunity for local residents to charge their vehicle during the day or night.
If agreed, it is hoped the charging points will be installed next year. Two spaces in this car park will then be leased to the charge point supplier and dedicated for use only by electric cars being charged.
The scheme under discussion is additional to what has already been agreed and is coming forward in the near future under the Deletti Project. Through the Deletti project, EV charging points will be installed in Borough Council car parks at Tavistock, Okehampton, Chagford and Hatherleigh.
Climate change takes a central role in A Plan For West Devon, the Council's developing long-term vision for the next 20 years.
One of the ways the Council is aiming to proactively tackle climate change is to empower more local people to switch to electric vehicles. However, like many other councils in the county, the biggest challenge they face is how to provide the electric charging infrastructure needed.
This issue was widely commented on during our recent A Plan for West Devon survey of local people, businesses and visitors.
One resident said: "Incentives could go further with lots more community charging points in residential areas, villages etc so people don't have to worry about mileage on a charge."
Several residents said: "absolutely" they would switch to an electric vehicle if there were more charging points, while others were still worried about the cost of the vehicles and the limited mileage that can be got from a single charge.
Cllr Lynn Daniel, West Devon Borough Council's Lead Member for Climate Change said: "We know we need to take positive action right now to tackle climate change. While many local people may be keen to switch to an electric vehicle, in some cases this is currently impractical as there are not enough public charge points. Having places to charge electric vehicles is also vital so we can continue to welcome visitors who come to enjoy our towns and countryside.
"I'm mindful that what we are discussing is just one additional dual charging point. However, it is one step closer towards achieving our ambitious climate change goals."
West Devon Borough Council says that it plans to take advantage of every available funding opportunity, which includes the Devon and Torbay Residential Chargepoint Scheme. However, the Council also stresses that they cannot do this alone.
Cllr Terry Pearce, West Devon Borough Council's Lead Member for Car Parks added: "We know affordability and lack of charging points are significant barriers stopping residents from going electric.
"If approved, the Bere Alston scheme will be a welcome addition with the Deletti Project, which our officers have been working on over the last year to bring EV charging points to the main WDBC car parks in our towns. It is hoped that installation of these will begin later in the Autumn and I apologise for any disruption which might be caused to car park users while these works are carried out."
"We're committed to taking advantage of all funding available to make it easier for people to charge their vehicle. I encourage our Town and Parish Councils to make the most of the the funding schemes available to install electric charging points in our communities."
Cllr Lynn Daniel concluded: "We're also looking at ways to tackle the cost barrier to help residents to go electric. For example, we are currently consulting the public on whether they would be interested in an electric car and bike club.
"Together with Devon County Council, we will do what we can, but this will need significant support from central government too. That's why we will also continue to lobby government for that support to make it easier for people of West Devon to make the switch."
You can watch and listen to the Hub Committee debating the Devon and Torbay Residential Chargepoint Scheme at 2 p.m. on 21 September here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCDZEXV47SxBpXUDR6qbhtiA
More information on the Deletti Project - a collaborative project led by Devon County Council involving WDBC and other local authorities such as East Devon, North Devon, South Somerset and Teignbridge Councils. The project secured Regional Development funding to deliver 22kW EV chargers with two outlets to serve two parking bays simultaneously for installation across a range of car parks.
- Bedford car park, Tavistock
- Abbey car park, Tavistock
- Mill Road car park, Okehampton
- Chagford car park, Chagford
- Hatherleigh car park, Hatherleigh
Issued: 15 September 2021