New rapid charger is part of council’s bid to keep air pollution down

Residents and visitors to Newmarket can now recharge their electric vehicles in as little as half an hour, supporting both the environment and our health.

As part of its ongoing work to tackle climate change, West Suffolk Council has installed a rapid charger in the town’s recently resurfaced 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 pay for the electricity they purchase via contactless card or use their existing Swarco E-Connect network account.

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “West Suffolk saw a 45 per cent fall in air pollution during lockdown which is hugely important for the environment and our health. While we would still encourage whenever possible people to make changes such as working from home, walking or cycling, we also recognise that West Suffolk is a rural area and some people need to use their car for certain journeys. That’s why we are working with partners to improve the EV infrastructure to help give people the confidence to switch to this greener form of transport.

“Friends of the Earth, named West Suffolk as one of the top areas in the UK for tackling climate change and supporting the environment late last year. We cannot, however, rest on our laurels. More needs to and must be done which is why I am pleased we have secured this second EV Rapid Charger in West Suffolk.”

The Rapid Charger, secured by West Suffolk Council through developer money, is the second in West Suffolk. The other in Bury St Edmunds was installed by Highways England in partnership with the council.

The council also runs other EV chargers in its car parks including in The Guineas multi storey, in Newmarket, and is looking to deliver more.

Electric vehicles are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel cars – generally fuel costs are a third of their fossil fuel equivalents as well as delivering a significant carbon reduction compared to petrol or diesel vehicles and reducing other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide. West Suffolk Council is also using an electricity supplier who uses 100 per cent renewable energy. 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, who represents the Newmarket West ward and is Cabinet Member for Regulatory, said: “I am delighted to see the installation of a rapid charger in Newmarket in the All Saints car park which has recently been resurfaced. This complements the other electric vehicle chargers we have in the town and means visitors can pop into town and support local businesses while they recharge their vehicle.”

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.

Business Energy Efficiency (BEE) Anglia are also offering grants towards EVs. Apply before the July 31 and you could get 50 per cent of the costs toward an EV van or 40 per cent grant for an EV passenger vehicle. See www.beeanglia.org/grant-funding

Pictured above is Andy Drummond, who represents the Newmarket West ward and is West Suffolk Cabinet Member for Regulatory, with Environment officer Matthew Axton, charging an EV at the new rapid charger in Newmarket.

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