Ris­ing de­mand for elec­tric cars sparks call for more vil­lage charg­ing points

Solihull News - - IT TALK - DAVID IRWIN david. irwin@ reach­plc. com

PARK­ING fa­cil­i­ties cre­ated in a clus­ter of Soli­hull vil­lages need to cater for elec­tric cars, a group of res­i­dents has said.

The draft ver­sion of the Knowle, Dor­ridge & Bent­ley Heath Neigh­bour­hood Plan – put to­gether by lo­cal peo­ple – sug­gests that at least 20 per cent of new off- street spa­ces in vil­lage cen­tres are equipped with charg­ing points.

It fol­lows fig­ures ear­lier this year which claimed that Soli­hull has one of the high­est num­bers of elec­tric cars any­where in the coun­try.

It is es­ti­mated that there are more than 1,300 of the ve­hi­cles in the lo­cal author­ity area – the ninth high­est fig­ure na­tion­wide.

The Neigh­bour­hood Plan also em­pha­sises the im­por­tance of en­sur­ing that car park­ing sites in the lo­cal­ity are fit­ted with charg­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

“Look­ing to the fu­ture, and in line with the Gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy of en­cour­ag­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles, this pol­icy ap­plies to all car parks likely to be used by mem­bers of the pub­lic,” said the doc­u­ment.

The Plan – cur­rently out for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion - is de­signed to guide de­vel­op­ment up un­til 2033, with the as­sump­tion that the num­ber of elec­tric ve­hi­cles on the road will in­crease dra­mat­i­cally over the course of the next 15 years.

In­deed, it is es­ti­mated that the num­ber in the UK will hit one mil­lion by 2020, and there are con­cerns that the coun­try does not have the in­fra­struc­ture to cope with the surge in de­mand.

At present there are 16,500 charg­ing points, but a study pub­lished by data firm Emu An­a­lyt­ics ear­lier this month sug­gested that the num­ber needed to in­crease six- fold in or­der to cope with the move away from diesel ve­hi­cles. Richard Vil­ton, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Emu An­a­lyt­ics, said: “Ul­ti­mately the UK, by in­vest­ing in the right way early, has the op­por­tu­nity to be a global leader in elec­tric ve­hi­cles, which will ben­e­fit busi­nesses, towns, cities and com­mu­ni­ties by pre­par­ing for a sus­tain­able fu­ture.”

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