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West Suffolk councils promote benefits of electric vehicles

PUBLISHED: 11:47 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:47 07 August 2018

West Suffolk councillor Lance Stanbury charging up a Renault Zoe Picture; SALLY EASTON

West Suffolk councillor Lance Stanbury charging up a Renault Zoe Picture; SALLY EASTON

West Suffolk councils

A Suffolk local authority is hoping to persuade residents and businesses to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) as it promotes the benefits, including cheaper running costs.

West Suffolk councillor Alaric Pugh with a Nissan ENV200 demonstrating how EVs are also a realistic option for trades people and small scale suppliers Picture; SALLY EASTONWest Suffolk councillor Alaric Pugh with a Nissan ENV200 demonstrating how EVs are also a realistic option for trades people and small scale suppliers Picture; SALLY EASTON

West Suffolk councils will be holding an Electric Vehicle (EV) roadshow in the arc shopping centre at Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, August 25, from 9am to 5pm where it will highlight the financial, economical and environmental benefits of EVs.

The councils operate charging points in car parks in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Newmarket and will shortly be announcing a pilot scheme designed to make it easier for residents to charge EVs outside their own homes.

It will be holding an event specifically aimed at local firms as part of the West Suffolk Business Festival in October. Its Greener Business Grant match funds business up to £1,000 towards the cost of an EV or company charge point.

Cllr Alaric Pugh, cabinet member for planning and growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “There is no doubt that EVs are the future. The Government intends to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2040 but we want to make that choice easier for our residents and businesses now.

“We recognise that given West Suffolk is a beautiful rural area, for many people, some journeys aren’t always possible by any other means than by car. So while we continue to encourage people to walk, cycle, or use public transport where we can, we are realistic that many of us use cars and so we are taking the initiative to make EV an easier choice by making charging points more readily available.”

Cllr Lance Stanbury, Forest Heath District Council’s cabinet member for planning and growth said: “We know that EVs are cheaper to run - generally a quarter of the cost of petrol or diesel per mile - and where technology has dramatically improved they can make long journeys on a single charge which means they are now a more realistic option not just for residents but for businesses including trades people and small scale suppliers.

“On top of this, by switching to EVs people are helping reduce air pollution which Public Health England says cost the country £42.88m in health and social care costs last year, a figure it warns will rise to £5.3bn by 2035 unless air pollution is addressed on a national scale. So come along to our roadshow and find out more.”

The EV campaign is part of the councils’ wider work around cutting air pollution, work which includes reducing vehicle idling and encouraging greater use of clean energy particularly solar energy.

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