Electric cars will soon be able to plug into street lamps
- Credit: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL
A scheme to allow residents to recharge electric vehicles via street lamps outside their homes is being introduced in west Suffolk.
Chargers are being installed at 22 spots in Bury St Edmunds, Exning and Newmarket by West Suffolk Council and are due to be turned on by the end of November.
All are in locations where off-street parking is unavailable.
The council is one of the first in the UK to take part in the scheme.
It has also announced it is to instal a rapid charger for electric vehicles (EV) at a car park in Newmarket that will allow drivers to charge up in as little as half an hour.
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The charger, to be placed in All Saints car park, is capable of charging two cars at a time and can substantially recharge the battery of an EV in just 30 minutes.
The moves come after the council set up an environment and climate change task force and declared a climate emergency in the summer.
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John Griffiths, the leader of West Suffolk Council said: "We recognise infrastructure for electric vehicles has got to get better to support residents and businesses in making it their choice.
"We also recognise tackling climate change must be more than words. We have already worked to secure EV charging points, as well as investing in other forms of renewable energy, including our solar farm and supporting businesses in reducing their carbon footprint.
"All of this work has already seen West Suffolk named by Friends of the Earth as one of the top areas in the UK for tackling climate change and supporting the environment. But there is more to be done."
The lamppost scheme is being funded by £27,000 from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and £9,000 from West Suffolk councils.
Two of the charge points will be in Exning, and four in All Saints Car Park in Newmarket, which is used by residents at night time and offers 24 hour access.
The remaining 16 will be installed in Bury St Edmunds in Spring Lane, Out Westgate, Eastgate Street and the Southgate area - all locations where off street parking is not available and where lampposts are suitably located at the kerbside.
The rapid battery charger is the second to be installed in west Suffolk - the first was at the School Yard car park in Bury St Edmunds.
Drivers will be able to pay for the electricity they purchase via contactless card or use their existing Swarco E-Connect network account.
Users will be able to pay to park for up to two hours while their vehicle charges.
West Suffolk Council already offers a Greener Business Grant which match funds a business up to £1,000 towards the cost of an electric vehicle or company charge point.