Council leads on green issues with new electric car charging points installed at Civic Offices

Special bays for charging electric vehicles have been installed on the Council’s Civic campus.

Published: Monday, 12th August 2019

Four new charging points are now available for members of the public and Borough Council staff to charge their electric vehicles.

The new charging points are part of the Council’s desire to see Swindon make a real and lasting contribution to helping the UK to meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and are in keeping with the Council’s Priority of improving the town’s infrastructure to support a growing, low carbon economy.

The four charging points are situated at two different locations – by the steps to the Civic Offices and at the side of Wat Tyler House.

The Mayor of Swindon uses an electric Hyundai to get around town and he, too, will use one of the bays to charge his car.

Mayor of Swindon Cllr Kevin Parry said: “I am thrilled to be able to say that, by installing these charging bays at the Civic and by pursuing policies that require developers to install charging points in new builds, we are making excellent progress in pushing electric cars as an alternative to petrol and diesel.

“We know that switching to electric vehicles is a massive change for people and we want to make it easy for them to own and run these sorts of cars, and these new charging points are a brilliant way of achieving that.”

Both of the charging points at the Civic Offices are dual 22kW, which means that four vehicles can be charged simultaneously. If one car alone is charging, it can charge at 22kW and if two are charging at one location, this halves to 11kW. The cost per kWh is 30p, which is common for electric vehicles.

The length of time it takes to charge a car depends on the capacity and charge rate of the vehicle that’s plugged in.

Councillor Keith Williams, Chairman of Swindon Borough Council’s Climate Change Working Group, said: “This Council is dedicated to being a force for good in helping the UK to meet its net zero carbon emissions target, and making life easier for people with electric vehicles is a big part of that.

“We already know the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and we are working across all parties to improve outcomes for the environment and public health.”

The charging stations were procured through PPS (Public Power Solutions), the Council’s wholly-owned renewable development company.

The operating system, known as Tonik, allows drivers to plug the charging cable into the car’s charging socket before swiping their special fob or using the Tonik app to pay. Drivers don’t, however, have to be signed up to Tonik to use the charging points.

The charging points will be available for members of the public to use from Thursday, 15 August as further road lining and signage work needs to be carried out first.

A survey undertaken earlier this year showed that there are more than 4,500 ultra low-emissions vehicles registered in Swindon, the highest figure in the South West.

The Council is currently in the process of reviewing its development parking standards, which are due to be formally adopted later this year and will require charging points to be installed in new developments.

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