Rapid Charger provides more support to drivers switching to EVs

A new rapid charger being installed in Newmarket will allow drivers of Electric Vehicles (EV) to recharge their car in as little as half an hour.

As part of its ongoing work to tackle climate change, West Suffolk Council is installing the device in All Saints Car Park.

The rapid charger is capable of charging two cars at a time and can substantially recharge the battery of an EV in just 30 minutes. 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.

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We recognise that given West Suffolk is a rural area, some journeys aren’t always possible by any other means than by car. We also recognise that we all need to take action on climate change and our cabinet has set up a taskforce while the council has also declared a climate change emergency.

“While we have EV charge points in many of our car parks, we know that the infrastructure for EVs needs to be more accessible for residents and businesses – that is why we are looking to trial new initiatives and putting in this new Rapid Charger, the second of its type that we have installed in West Suffolk.

“This is one of the ways that the council is supporting our communities and local businesses in making choices that are not only better for them both financially and environmentally, but which are also better for the wider economy and public health. 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.”

Electric vehicles are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel cars – generally fuel costs are a quarter of their fossil fuel equivalents. West Suffolk Council is using a supplier who uses 100 per cent renewable energy that delivers a significant carbon reduction compared to petrol or diesel vehicles as well as reducing other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide. By switching to EVs people are helping reduce air pollution which Public Health England says cost the country £42.88 million in health and social care costs in 2017.

Andy Drummond, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory which includes the environment team, represents the Newmarket West Ward.

He said: “The Government’s Road to Zero aims for 50-70 per cent of all new vehicles to be zero emissions by 2030. EVs are recognised as being cheaper to run, better for the environment and in turn better for the national economy. The rapid charger means that people will soon be able to drive into the town centre, visit the shops or go for a coffee or a meal and return to find their electric vehicle recharged and ready to go.”

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. All of this is part of its wider work around reducing air pollution, work which includes reducing vehicle idling and encouraging greater use of clean energy particularly solar energy.

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