Council to set up charging points for electric cars

LANCASHIRE County Council is working to introduce more charging points for electric vehicles.

Lancashire County  Councillor John Fillis with the electric vehicles at County Hall
Lancashire County Councillor John Fillis with the electric vehicles at County Hall

The council was successful in a bid for £14.8m from the Department for Transport’s Highway Maintenance Challenge Fund to invest in new technology.

Some of the budget has been set aside to make it easier for drivers of electric cars to find somewhere to charge their batteries.

The scheme aims to establish at least 150 new charging points by March 2018.

Officers who are working on the project recently arranged to borrow a BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf for a few days to get a better feel for what it’s like to own an electric vehicle.

Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The government has provided councils with the funding to establish many more charging points, and we’re now doing the groundwork to add significantly to the existing network.

“We’re working with district councils and our neighbours in Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool to create a network that electric vehicle users in this area can sign up to and be sure they’re never too far away from a charging point.”

He added: “Our aim is to help give people the confidence to consider buying an electric vehicle by making it easy to find a charging point reasonably nearby, wherever you are.

“I hope these futuristic-looking vehicles will become a more common sight in what will be an ever-greener Lancashire.”

The county council will be going out to tender this year to secure a contract provider for the charging machines and supporting back-office technology.

It is hoped the first charging points will be installed in early 2017.