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E-car tourists shunning Montgomeryshire

Created on 12/02/2020 @ 07:33
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A worrying graphic (pictured) has been released which confirms fears that Montgomeryshire could be left behind as a tourist destination due to the e-car revolution.

With sales of electric cars surging, and Government plans to phase out petrol cars within a generation, an energy co-operative boss says that drivers are shunning our area due to the lack of rapid car chargers.

Neil Lewis, from TrydaNi, said that only 60 of the 990 Welsh charging points are rapid ones - which can charge a car in less than an hour, with a huge black hole over Mid Wales.

The Welsh Government said the number of charging points was increasing.

Wales is lagging behind much of the UK - it only has four more rapid charging points in the whole country than Milton Keynes, which has a population of about 265,000 people.

The report also showed that while Scotland has 7.5 rapid charging points per 100,000 people, Wales only has 1.8 per 100,000.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that a ban on fossil fuel cars would be brought forward to 2035, five years earlier than initially expected.

But Mr Lewis said the lack of investment in charging points locally was a problem that meant “it's very hard to travel around Wales in an electric car”.

Mr Lewis, who has worked in the communal energy sector for nine years, said electric vehicle drivers often avoided mid Wales and chose to drive through England when travelling from south to north Wales as it was “safer”.

“Like I said to them two years ago, that's all the government has to do is put two rapid charging points in mid Wales,” he told the BBC.

But he said it was hard to entice investors because there was “no money” to be made from charging points at the moment.

In 2020, the Welsh Government will release its Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy which will “consider different models that will expand our charging network”.

The Welsh Government said: “By now, there are more than 990 charging points available to the public in Wales, an increase of 670 since April last year.

“Our latest budget included £29m to support the change to low-emission vehicles. The private sector is responsible for the majority of charging points, but we will work with them and the public sector to encourage people to change to low-carbon emission vehicles.”

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