Could You ‘Go Electric?’

 

Reading residents who own an electric vehicle, or have an interest in buying one in the future, are being urged to register their interest in an innovative new Council-led initiative which will help improve air quality by installing charging points on residential streets.

Electric vehicles are an increasingly popular choice for drivers due to the obvious benefits for air quality. People thinking about switching to electric cars are very often put off by worries about where to charge their vehicle overnight, particularly if they do not have a private driveway.

Reading Borough Council has now been awarded a Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Air Quality Grant which would pay for the installation of electric vehicle charging points on residential streets where there is no off street parking. Under a new Council initiative called ‘Go Electric,’ charge points would be installed using the existing electrical supply to street furniture, such as lamp posts, allowing residents to charge their vehicles on-street and outside their own homes.

Reading has a higher than average percentage (33%) of its households living in terraced properties. An estimated 52,000 people live in terraced housing and a high proportion have no access to off-street parking. This makes the charging of an electric vehicle overnight very difficult for many households in the town.

The first stage of the Council initiative is to identify residents without off street parking who may be able to benefit from the scheme. Residents can do that at www.reading.gov.uk/goelectricsurvey.

Tony Page
Cllr Tony Page

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“This Council-led scheme could be the answer for anyone who owns an electric vehicle, or is thinking about buying one in the future, and who does not have their own driveway or garage.

“Narrow terraced streets are of course an intrinsic part of the make-up of Reading. More than 50,000 people are estimated to be living in terraced properties across town, but charging an electric vehicle is understandably very difficult in properties with no off-street parking.

“By using the electrical supply of some existing street furniture, like lamp posts, we can create easy and conveniently located charging points close to people’s homes, making it the ideal solution for overnight charging.

“At this stage the Council is very interested to hear from residents who are thinking about investing in an electric vehicle, and who could potentially benefit by going electric.”

Residents are asked to register their interest at www.reading.gov.uk/goelectricsurvey by December 15th. The next steps will be to examine the registrations of interest received, gauging where there is most demand. The total number of charging points installed will depend on a number of variables, but there is the potential to install between 100 and 200 new on-street charging points in Reading with the funding available. It is hoped that the first on-street charging points can be installed in Spring next year.

More information on the scheme and electric vehicles can be found at www.reading.gov.uk/goelectric.

Notes To Editor:

Electric Vehicle Facts: Did you know…?

While the initial upfront purchase price of an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle can be higher, this is offset by lower running costs over the lifetime of the vehicle. Plug-in cars offer a number of potential savings compared to conventional vehicles including:

·         A full charge in a pure electric vehicle will give a typical range of 100 miles and will cost £2 to £4. Driving 100 miles in a petrol or diesel car will cost around £13 to £16 in fuel, which is around four times the cost of the electric car. The cost savings will be greatest when owners have access to an off-peak overnight electricity tariff.

·         There are fewer mechanical components in an electric vehicle when compared with conventional vehicles, which often results in lower servicing and maintenance costs.

·         There is a range of government grants available to help with the installation of EV charge points.  To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles

·         Car dealerships and manufacturers can get grants to reduce the price you pay for brand new electric and hybrid vehicles. To find out more: https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants/what-youll-get

More information on the benefits of electric vehicles can be found at: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/transport/electric-vehicles

Oscar Mortali

For media enquiries about this release email oscar.mortali@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 2301