With air pollution posing a continuing threat to health and the environment, there has been applause at the quadrupling of the use of electric vehicle charging points.
St Albans Green councillor Simon Grover said that figures obtained from Evalu8, which provides electric vehicle charging points across the city, showed local charging points were used 1,329 times last year, delivering 8,414 kWh of electricity.
It is the third year in a row of rapid growth.
The figure is over four times the previous year’s total of 1,944 kWh, which was more than three times up on the year before that.
However Cllr Grover has called for more charging points to be installed, saying motorists will only buy electric cars, or drive them to St Albans “if we have lots of charging points”.
The network opened in 2012, when it delivered just 100 kWh of electricity, which is about the energy a freezer uses in a month.
Cllr Grover explained that 8,000 kilowatt hours,
“is equivalent to about 15,000 miles of driving an ordinary petrol car around town.
“So these electric vehicles are really starting to make a difference. Air pollution is an increasingly serious problem in St Albans, and electric vehicles are definitely part of the solution.”
However, he said that several residents
“have spoken to me about electric cars they’ve bought, and how there’s a need for more charging points round the district”.
There are currently four district council-run charging points with dedicated bays in St Albans, which were installed by Herts county council in partnership with Evalu8. There are also two bays at the city station.
The statistics show that Charter Close is the most popular charging point – although it was used just seven times in 2012, it was used about 700 times last year, up from 149 times in 2014. Upper Dagnall Street was the next most popular point with usage increasing from 13 times in 2014 to 283 times in 2015.
Cllr Grover added:
“Now we know the uptake is rising so fast, it’s vital that we install more charging points around the city and the district.”
The average charging time was 2.2 hours per electric vehicle.
Source: Herts Advertiser