Dozens more charging points for electric vehicles have been promised across Surrey, as interest in the cars reportedly soars.
Public charging points are still “few and far between” according to one electric car owner, although those who have made the switch may be feeling relieved this week as drivers who rely on diesel or petrol faced the fuel crisis.
Provision of public charging points varies across the county.
Surrey County Council is in the process of installing 80 on-street charging points across four boroughs as part of a pilot.
The authority says the lessons of that will first be evaluated before any further infrastructure is rolled out.
Some lower-tier authorities have installed charging points in their car parks.
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council currently has three charging points in its car parks, with four more to come in Banstead in November. Mole Valley District Council has committed to installing 90 in its car parks by March next year. Tandridge District Council doesn’t yet have any.
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Reigate and Banstead councillor Steve Kulka drives an electric car and admits his family are lucky to have a driveway, as 90 per cent of their charging takes place overnight.
Speaking ahead of the fuel crisis, Mr Kulka said: “I have lots [of people] contact me who would love to have an electric car but understand charge points are few and far between and are not guaranteed to work when you get there.
“Although there are more [public] charging points nowadays, if you do not have a driveway then it’s tough, as overnight is when the electric rates are cheaper.
“When you go to the supermarket, there is no need to leave it there for hours to fill it completely,” he added.
“In just one hour, you can put 30 miles worth of distance into the car.”
The county council says the 80 fast-charge points which form its pilot will be put in across Guildford, Woking, Waverley and Spelthorne within the next few months.
The trial aims to lead to better understanding of key issues relating to on-street charging, such as the cost, demand and maintenance involved.
Matt Furniss, county councillor in charge of the transport brief, said: “It is important that we drive this forward before the ban on new conventional petrol and diesel car sales in 2030.
“The trial will give us an understanding of the take-up from those that do not have driveways, and see where the most demand is.
“We want to enable people to change before the end of the decade if they wish to do so.
“On our website, people can request a charging point in their area which helps us gauge demand in different parts of the county.
“Nearly half of carbon emissions come from transport in Surrey.
“It won’t just be electric because hydrogen will have a very large part to play, but I imagine that will be more with the main fuelling stations.”
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