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Liberal Democrats to install more public electric vehicle chargers in rural areas

November 11, 2019 1:49 PM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

The Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Baroness Randerson, drives an electric car. Jenny Randerson is acutely aware of the problems electric vehicle owners have finding public EV chargers, especially outside large towns. She is determined that the Liberal Democrats should do whatever it takes to provide accessible and convenient EV chargers for everyone.

Jenny RandersonAir pollution is not just one of the biggest threats to people's health, it is a killer. Many of Kent's roads have some of the highest levels of air pollution outside London. We are being literally choked by toxic fumes from petrol and diesel motor vehicles.

The Liberal Democrats want electric vehicles to be an affordable and practical alternative for all in the near future. However, electric vehicles are not currently a feasible option for the majority of car owners without off-road parking and thus without their own charging facilities.

The Government has just published the latest set of statistics which show that there are only 247 public EV charging points in Kent, of which 64 are rapid chargers. That equates to just 15 public charging points for every 100,000 people. Public chargers in Kent as at October 2019 - Zap Maps (Zap Map of Public chargers in Kent as at October 2019)

Domestic rated chargers usually operate at 3 kW or 7 kW and can take several hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. Rapid chargers operate at 43 kW or more and can fully charge a vehicle in 30-45 minutes, the time taken to have a coffee, eat a meal or do a bit of shopping.

Kent's local councils are taking the initiative and installing EV charging points, some more than others. So are some supermarkets but the roll-out has been very slow despite the availability of Government grants. Crucially, the vast majority of public EV chargers in Kent are sited in large towns so very few people living in Kent's small towns and villages have convenient access to EV charging points. The Liberal Democrats are determined to stop this his postcode lottery, Everyone chould have easy access to a public EV charger.

The Liberal Democrats will invest urgently in schemes to speed up the installation of rapid charging points throughout the country, such as grants to parish and town councils to enable then to install electric vehicle charging facilities at village and community halls for the use of local residents.

Public charging devices in Kent as at 1st October 2019 (Dept. for Transport)

District Public charging devices Rapid charging (43kW+) devices Charging devices per 100,000 population
Ashford 30 2 23
Canterbury 28 1 17
Dartford 17 9 15
Dover 9 2 8
Folkestone and Hythe 25 15 22
Gravesham 4 2 4
Maidstone 37 15 22
Sevenoaks 20 5 17
Swale 24 1 16
Thanet 20 4 14
Tonbridge and Malling 12 5 9
Tunbridge Wells 21 3 18
Total for Kent 247 64 15

Click here for more information from Department for Transport