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Council switches on to electric car charging points to attract visitors and commuters to Eden

Eden District is set to appeal more to commuters and tourists who own plug-in electric cars, as charging points for this type of environmentally friendly vehicle are to be installed in certain off-street car parks in the area.

The rise of electric car ownership in the UK is astonishing with only 3,500 new plug-in car registrations in 2013, but by the end of December 2018 this number had increased to more than 192,000 vehicles (source: nextgreencar.com).

Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) each month show that while only around 500 electric cars were registered per month during the first half of 2014, this has now risen to an average of more than 5,000 per month during 2018 (source: nextgreencar.com).

The infrastructure for electric vehicle charging is currently very poor in Cumbria. The nearest car charging points to Penrith are at Rheged or Tebay Motorway services. Most other charging points in the area are associated with hotels and tourist attractions, rather than catering for residential or commuter needs.

Councillor Adrian Todd, Eden District Council’s Services Portfolio Holder, said: “Installing charging points for electric cars in the Council’s off-street car parks makes good environmental and business sense. We need to encourage people who travel to Cumbria, whether they are tourists or commuters, to do this in the most sustainable way possible.

“By working with Plug-N-Go Ltd to install electric charging points in car parks in Appleby and Penrith, the Council is making the area much more appealing and accessible to people who own this type of vehicle and are gradually helping to improve the air quality in the District as electric vehicle ownership become more prevalent. We hope being one of the first areas in Cumbria to offer charging points for electric vehicles to commuters, visitors and shoppers, will be a USP for Eden and can attract people to explore our wonderful area.”

Eden District Council are working with Plug-N-Go Ltd to install electric charging points at the following locations:

  • Drovers Lane Car Park, Penrith – Two 22kw fast charge points for a quick charge or top up.
  • Penrith Leisure Centre – Four 22kw charge points and four 7.2kw charging points, so users can take a fast charge or top up or overnight.
  • Broad Close Car Park, Appleby – Two 22kw charge points.

The installation of the charging points does not require any capital investment or monthly payments from the Council and will be fully funded by Plug-N-Go Ltd, with the Council receiving a proportion of the profits for hosting the equipment.

Plug-N-Go Ltd will control, maintain and upgrade the charging points as technology updates and manage the customer service in relation to this product. In the event these arrangements prove popular and successful then consideration will be given to expanding the provision of car charging points with further reports being brought forward for the Services Portfolio Holder or Executive to consider in the future.

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