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Call for local electric car chargers

Created on 16/02/2017 @ 10:19
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As the number of electric cars on Welsh roads surges, a report has shown there are only rapid charging points along the M4 in south Wales and the A55 in the north with nothing in between.

It has prompted a call for action from Montgomeryshire Assembly Member Russell George, the Shadow Economy Secretary, who said the country faces a game of “chicken and egg”.

There were 1,725 fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles on Welsh roads from July to September 2016 according to official vehicle records, compared to just 70 during the same period in 2012.

But campaigners believe more progress on low-emission vehicles is being hampered by the charge-point infrastructure.

“The trouble is it’s a chicken and egg situation - people want to use electric vehicles but they can't because the infrastructure's not there - and the infrastructure’s not going to be built until the demand is there,” Mr George told the Senedd.

“I would like to see the government recognising that it does need some grant and funding support for this - in order for anyone in Wales to make sufficient use of electric vehicles you've got to have charging points in rural areas as well.”

The Welsh Government said it is committed to helping the low carbon vehicle sector grow in Wales.

Back in 2015, a report by a group of experts appointed by Welsh Government made a string of recommendations, including installing charging points at all government premises and encouraging local authorities to do the same.

Mr George added that it was now time for Welsh Government to act on the report's findings.

One organisation that is trying to improve the network of charging points in rural Wales is the National Trust, which has installed just under 40 slow and medium-strength chargers at its properties in Wales. It has plans to install a further 30 over the next 18 months.

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