Eight sites across the city will be installed from April 2021 – each with a Co-Car for shared use.
The installation of eight rapid electric vehicle charging hubs across Exeter is set to get underway next month (April).
Eight Neighbourhoods across the city will soon have charging points within easy reach, with the first sites expected to be ready for use this summer.
It’s the first phase of a private-sector led scheme that includes Devon County Council, Regen, Co Cars, ZPN Energy and Gamma Energy.
The project is funded by Innovate UK and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, and aims to deliver dozens of charge points across the City over the next two years.
The locations for the first eight charging points have now been given the green light by the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) and the sites are at Langaton Lane, Barrack Road, Belmont Road, Hanover Road, Whipton Lane, Cowick Hill, Haven Road and St Leonards Road.
Each of these locations will also benefit from an electric Co Car for community hire.
Over a third (34%) of people do not currently have off-street parking facilities to charge an electric vehicle. This project removes this barrier, meaning many more people can make the move to electric car use.
This project is part of a nationwide move to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality – the government has announced a ban on the sales of new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel from 2030.
The rapid chargers have been developed by ZPN Energy, while Gamma Energy, based at Exeter Science Park, has developed the technology to power the chargers.
They use a cutting-edge energy storage system with a renewable energy supply and charge vehicles very quickly at a low cost.
A typical unit will provide 75 miles of travel after 30 min of charge (25Kwh) at a cost of £7.50 (30p per kWh).
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “As we make the move over to electric vehicles it’s essential we have the infrastructure in place. This initiative is hugely exciting and puts Exeter on the map with the UK’s most sustainable cities. This means residents will have much-needed access to charge points, and electric vehicles in the heart of the city’s neighbourhoods.”
Olly Frankland from Regen, project partners and electric vehicle experts based in Exeter, said: “Many people across the city currently have no way of charging an electric vehicle at home. This removes that barrier and makes electric car use a reality.”
All eight of the sites in the first phase will also come with an electric car from Co Cars, the city’s celebrated sustainable car share organisation. Residents will be able to book the cars from as little as half an hour. Evidence shows2 that this will ultimately decrease the amount of private cars on the streets as the need for vehicle ownership or second cars is reduced.
Mark Hodgson from Co Cars said: “For those who don’t want the costs of car ownership, Co Cars membership is a flexible, affordable option that allows people to enjoy all the benefits of electric cars with none of the hassle or expense of ownership.”
Ian Stillie, ZPN Energy, CEO , said: “With EV ownership fast becoming more widespread and progressively tough legislation to reduce emissions, we are excited to bring our sustainable, user-friendly HUBZ charging units to Exeter, rapidly expanding the EV charging infrastructure.”
Gamma Energy, based at Exeter Science Park has developed the technology to power the chargers using 100% clean energy.
Jose Contreras, Gamma Energy said: “Rapid Charging Exeter is committed to decarbonising transport in the city. Our rapid charging infrastructure will use only energy from renewable sources.”
There are plans for further sites in Exeter as well as other communities across Devon as the initiative progresses.
Residents of Exeter, East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge who are interested in Rapid Charging coming to a location near them, are being asked to take part in an online survey. To access the survey and for more information on Rapid Charging Exeter visit www.rapidchargingexeter.co.uk.