New electric charging points coming to rural communities across Suffolk
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Suffolk's aspiration to become the greenest county has led to the creation of 100 new fast charging points for electric cars in communities across the county - and another 50 could be in the pipeline.
The first 100 are being set up in rural areas thanks to a £300,000 grant from the Suffolk 2020 fund from the county council and there have been a further 50 expressions of interest.
At present, the majority of charging points are concentrated in our larger towns such as Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft, but given the new expressions of interest, it is hoped that new fast charging points can begin to be installed across a range of more rural locations including Beccles, Wilby, Horringer, Orford, Long Melford and Tuddenham St Martin.
The strong interest comes from local parish councils and communities who can see the potential benefit in hosting charging points at rural village halls, community buildings, sports clubs and even places of worship, besides commercial buildings and shops elsewhere.
The county has begun site surveys and plan for the initial installations that will take place in the coming weeks. Once installed, each host community takes a share of the income generated by drivers who pay to charge their cars.
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Ultra-low emission vehicle ownership has nearly trebled in the last three years within Suffolk and this is set to continue to grow even faster with Government vehicle initiatives.
In total, there are around 422,000 cars licensed in Suffolk, but currently just under 2,500 of these are ultra-low emission cars. With an improved charging network across the county, the council believes this will encourage greater electric vehicle ownership in Suffolk in years to come.
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Richard Rout, cabinet member for environment at Suffolk County Council, said: “This project is a key part of the council’s commitment to addressing the climate emergency that was declared in 2019, getting accessible electric vehicle charging points located across Suffolk to support residents and communities as they make informed choices in the use of greener transport options.
“Encouraging electric vehicle use is one way we can contribute to better air quality, the reduction of carbon emissions and cutting down our reliance on fossil fuels, all of which support the council’s climate emergency declaration and ambition to create the Greenest County.”