MORE electric car charging points are needed in Gloucestershire to fuel the transport of the future, according to a campaigner.
Gareth Beard has driven his hybrid Vauxhall Ampera from his home in Chaddleworth, near Newbury, to his work in Gloucester Business Park every day since taking up the job in February. But he has noticed a lack car of charging points in public spaces throughout the county.
Now, he is calling on organisations such as Gloucestershire County Council, large retailers such as Tesco and The Victoria Pub near the business park to consider improving the infrastructure for hybrid and electric cars.
Gareth said: “Electric cars are currently caught in a ‘catch 22’ because organisations won’t install car charging points because not many people have electric cars, but if the infrastructure isn’t there to support them, not many people will buy electric cars.
"Since moving to Gloucestershire I’ve noticed that there are hardly any public places with electric charging points, and I really want to break this cycle.”
There are currently just two car charging points in Gloucester- at Asda in Quedgeley and Cotswold BMW in Cole Avenue near Holmleigh Park, with two more in Cheltenham, according to Chargemaster.com. The M5’s new Gloucester Services on junctions 11A and 12, which was opened earlier this month, also has car charging facilities.
Gareth has also asked Hucclecote Parish Council and Virgin Fitness if more charging points could be fitted.
Gareth said: “It costs far less to charge the batteries on an electric car than to fill up on petrol. It costs me 50p to go 30 miles in an electric car compared with £6 in petrol.
"Electricity is definitely the fuel of the future and will lessen our reliance of fossil fuels. There is a lot of traffic in Gloucester and if more of our cars were electric it would also lessen the emissions coming from exhausts and create cleaner air.”
Karen Hicks, landlady of The Victoria Pub in Hucclecote Road, said: “I certainly sympathise with Gareth because there does need to be more facilities, and if we can find a feasible way of providing for electric cars we would consider it.
"Electricity is the fuel of the future. But what Gareth was proposing was to allow electric car users to charge from our mains supply, which is not really practical. However, we would be more than happy to find a way around it.”
Gloucestershire County Council’s local sustainable transport fund programme manager Richard Cornell said: “Encouraging local people to use environmentally-friendly and cost-effective transport is a priority at the county council and we are looking into the possibility of installing a number of electric vehicle charging points to help meet this need. The cost would be met by the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.”