WARWICKSHIRE is plugging into an electric vehicle future.
Warwickshire County Council has made a long-term commitment to help residents and businesses make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles.
The council’s cabinet has agreed an Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy which will see a network of publicly available electric vehicle charging points created across the county over the next decade. There are currently 55 charging points in operation at 24 locations dotted around the county.
The strategy, which includes trialing new technologies such as lamppost charging points and in-town rapid-charging hubs, follows hot on the heels of the announcement of government plans to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
The move also comes amid growing concerns over air quality in the county. Leamington has just been named as one of 44 UK towns that exceed pollution level guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and there is an acknowledgement other towns in Warwickshire are being increasingly choked by traffic fumes.
County council transport and environment spokesman Coun Jeff Clarke said: “It is vitally important that we have this long-term strategy in place. Warwickshire has a proud history of being at the forefront of the low-emission vehicle industry and this strategy will ensure that we remain there.
“It will support our industries in this sector while delivering huge environmental benefits. There are a lot of exciting times ahead in this sector with technology evolving all the time and that means there is a lot of work still to do.
“This strategy will help us deliver real benefits for Warwickshire.”
Coventry and Warwickshire is already recognised as a national hotspot for low emission vehicle innovation.
The region is home to a number of big name firms which are leading the way in researching, developing and manufacturing electric vehicles, including
BMW, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Aston Martin, Tata Motors and Dennis Eagle.
The National Automotive Innovation Centre, located at the University of Warwick, is also set to open early next year. The centre will bring together academics, students and industry to develop the low carbon vehicle technologies of the future.
* Warwickshire County Council’s concessionary travel scheme has been extended for another five years.
The scheme, which provides free off-peak bus travel to Warwickshire County Council pass-holders, will remain in place until at least March 2023.
It means pass-holders will continue to get free bus travel in Warwickshire from 9am to midnight on weekdays and at all times at weekends and on public holidays. Passholders can also use their passes outside Warwickshire from 9.30am to 11pm on weekdays and all day at weekend and bank holidays.
Warwickshire is plugging into an electric vehicle future. (s)