Electric car charge points to be installed in East Devon car parks

Project to install electric car charge points across Devon to begin in October 2019

A two-year £1.3m joint project to install at least 25 electric vehicle charge points for public use in car parks across Devon begins in October 2019

Once complete the Devon Low-carbon Energy & Transport Technology Innovator (DELETTI) programme will prevent more than 300 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere every year.

The project follows Devon County Council securing a grant of £817,712 from the European Regional Development Fund.

The project is being led by Devon County Council in partnership with East Devon District Council, North Devon District Council, South Hams District Council, Teignbridge District Council and West Devon Borough Council and is scheduled to be complete by December 2021.

The charge points will be installed in key car parks in Devon’s largest communities.

These include Exeter, Barnstaple, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Honiton, Seaton, South Molton, Ilfracombe, Totnes, Ivybridge, Kingsbridge, Tavistock, Okehampton, Dartmouth, Salcombe, Dawlish, Teignmouth and Newton Abbott.

The charge points themselves will be powered by renewable energy. These could be in the form of solar carports - solar panels mounted on frames to enable cars to park underneath and recharge is one possibility.

In July Devon County Council announced a project to deliver 150 new charge points in Exeter through the StreetHubz project. StreetHubz is private-sector led project by Zapinamo and Gamma Energy.

Devon is the fourth largest county in the UK, but there is currently only 30 publicly accessible charge points in Devon.

Once both schemes are completed the number of public charge points in Devon will increase fivefold.

Cllr Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment said:

We are delighted to be an active partner in the County Council led Devon Low-carbon Energy & Transport Technology Innovator (DELETTI) programme.  The £800,000 plus grant funding will prevent more than 300 tonnes of carbon from entering our atmosphere every year and that aligns perfectly with our own emerging climate change action plan.

The project will initially deliver charge points in East Devon car parks in Exmouth, Honiton, Sidmouth and Seaton and we are particularly pleased to announce that the charge points themselves will be powered by renewable energy.

We know that the government has stated that new petrol and diesel cars and vans cannot be sold after 2040 but we are expecting our residents and visitors to gradually move to so-called ultra-low emission (electric and plug in hybrid) vehicles before then and we are committed to doing everything we can to encourage that. It is impossible to encourage more people to use electric cars until there are more charging points, and more charging points are unlikely to be provided by the market until there are more electric cars on the road.  We agree with the County Council’s view that this partnership programme will help to break that cycle. Fewer petrol and diesel cars will lead to a reduction in emissions, cleaner air and an improved quality of life for residents.

Cllr Geoff Pook, East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Asset Management said:

We have been working hard with the County Council and other Districts Councils over the past couple of years to identify and deliver suitable electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the greater Exeter area.

The outcome was this "innovator" project that has now secured funding and will deliver four rapid (minimum 20kW) charge points for two car parking bays per car park in in the following East Devon public car parks during the financial year 2020/21:

  • Exmouth (Imperial Road)
  • Sidmouth (Ham)
  • Honiton (Lace Walk)
  • Seaton (Orchard)

The project provides for additional charge points to be installed (at the council's expense) as demand increases.

There is also to be another fully funded (by Highways England) rapid charge point with two new bays adjacent to East Devon Business Centre in Honiton, due to be delivered this year.

We are also working with suppliers on the possible installation of new rapid charge points at Blackdown House. This has arisen out of our green travel plan looking in the medium to long term  to facilitate the introduction of ultra-low emission vehicles into the council's own fleet both directly and via a private sector/CIC partner to supply rental vehicles at this location for use by visiting officers.

We are also in the early stages of discussions with the County Council and Innovate UK looking at a private sector led bid to install on-street charge points in the region and at this stage there is an aspiration to include some on-street charger points in Exmouth.

It is my intention to learn from the innovator project and the other ongoing work with a view to delivering an expanding infrastructure of charging points in public car parks in future years. I am especially interested in exploring the most appropriate business model for owning and maintaining charging infrastructure.  We have set aside a small working budget and will be proposing to use some of the revenue generated by our proposed new car parking tariffs to fund investment in further installations as and when we identify a need.