I am urging Fenland District Council to get its bid in for government funding currently up for grabs for electric car charging points.
Wisbech St Mary Nissan dealership J S Holmes have secured agreement from the car manufacturer to provide a number of recharging points across the constituency, but funding is needed for installation.
A government body – the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles – provides grants for this and there next round of grants starts from the end of March.
The government has committed at least £32m for the funding between 2015 and 2020 and I am keen to see this area benefit from that especially with Nissan’s donation.
I have already written to Fenland District Council several times over the last six months urging them to get their bid in after spending time test driving an electric car from JS Holmes, but am concerned the work has yet to be completed and there has been no confirmation of the bid being made.
Electric cars are a fast growing market. They offer commercial opportunities for local car dealers, cheaper running costs, and the scope to attract motorists into local shops whilst their cars are being recharged. Yet at present Fenland does not have any points. I am keen for this to change.
These cars currently have a range of just over 90 miles, but can be 80% recharged within just 30 minutes to extend their range. The only electric charging point I am aware of locally is at the College of West Anglia campus, but this is only for the use of staff and students and not accessible to the public at weekends when the college is closed.
Whilst the demand for electric charging points is still limited it is important our area is not left behind with this new technology. Residents in future may want to benefit from the 2p a mile cost of running an electric car compared to a conventional car’s 15-to-20p mileage cost, but they may be reluctant to buy such a car if they cannot recharge it whilst driving around Fenland.
Local shops can also benefit from the estimated 17,200 vehicles that use the A47 alone each day who could be diverted off the A47 into local shops whilst accessing a rapid charging point. It is important that Fenland District Council acts quickly to get in a bid so that we don’t miss out on a share of the government money on offer.