Electric vehicle charging points proposed for Honiton car parks

Rapid charging points for electric vehicles could soon be installed in two of Honiton’s car parks – Lace Walk short stay, and Blackdown House.

East Devon Council has been offered the chance to host 30 charging points in car parks across the district – provided it can move quickly to get them installed.

Philippa Davies honiton.nub.news

Electric vehicle charging points proposed for Honiton car parks

If the proposal goes ahead, Honiton could get two charging units, each serving two parking bays, at both car parks.

The rapid chargers can top up an empty battery to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes.

The council’s Cabinet will meet next Wednesday, March 17, to discuss the proposal, and is being recommended to take it forward.

The background is that a supplier, Gamma Energy, won funding from the Government-funded public body Innovate UK to provide and manage rapid chargers in the Devon County Council area. The project has funding for 150 charging units – and needs them to be operational by the end of March 2022.

Devon County Council and Gamma Energy approached the district council to invite interest in hosting the units in up to 30 car parks where residents and visitors would find them useful. There’s no upfront cost to the district council; it will lease the car park spaces to the unit supplier for a token rent, and receive a small percentage of the income from the charging fees.

The report going to the Cabinet describes this as ‘an exciting opportunity’ and recommends entering into the necessary legal agreements to provide up to 30 charging units, which is what Gamma Energy is offering.

Car parks in Lympstone, Budleigh, Exmouth, Sidmouth, Seaton, Beer, Colyton, Axminster and Ottery are also being looked at as potential charging sites.

Electric car sharing hub at Blackdown House?

Councillors will also hear that – in view of the possible car charging points at Blackdown House – there’s a possibility of it being used as a hub for Co-Cars. These are low-emission vehicles operated by a Community Interest Company, and available to the public for hire by the hour or the day. The district council is ‘actively exploring’ the possibility of creating Co-Car hubs at the car park of its Honiton headquarters, along with other locations in East Devon.

A separate charging units proposal under DELETTI scheme

There’s already a scheme under way to provide a different charging point at the Lace Walk short stay car park under the first phase of the Devon Low-carbon Energy and Transport Technology Innovator scheme, known as DELETTI. This will be a fast charging unit serving two designated parking bays, providing a top-up charge in two hours or more.

Car parks in Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton will also have these charging points. Most of the funding for this project has come from the European Regional Development Fund, meaning the district council will need to contribute only £4,000 per two-vehicle charging unit.

And more electric charging points in the pipeline

The district council has also bid for £500,000 from the Local Enterprise Partnership to install further electric vehicle charging points throughout its area, including on-street units.

The focus is on rapid charge points, and the council envisages using its experience of the Innovate UK and DELETTI projects to commission and manage its network of charging points.