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Hampshire County Council offers £25m electric vehicle charging contract

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PLANS worth up to £25m are in motion for more electric vehicle charging points to be installed across Hampshire.

The county council has put a four-year contract out to tender for more charging points, in a bid to encourage people to switch to electric vehicles, writes David George of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Cllr Steve Forster, cabinet member for commercial strategy, estates and property, said: "The existing Hampshire County Council electric vehicle charging framework already supports more than 80 local authorities and public sector organisations across the southern region to purchase electric charge point infrastructure in a hassle-free, consistent and cost effective way.

There are 600 electric vehicle charging points across Hampshire
There are 600 electric vehicle charging points across Hampshire

"This joined-up approach is helping to deliver a much-needed network of charge points ahead of the government’s 2030 ban on the purchase of new petrol and diesel cars. The current framework expires in 2022 and we are now tendering for a new four-year contract.

"The framework aims to enable and encourage the use of electric vehicles by public sector organisations, and to help increase driver confidence by reducing ‘range anxiety’. It’s also a welcome boost to the green economy."

Currently, there are 600 electric vehicle charging points across the county – 200 of which were installed by the county council.

These can be found in supermarket car parks, places of work and council-run car parks. On-street charging points are currently being trialled in Winchester and Eastleigh.

HCC deputy leader Cllr Rob Humby
HCC deputy leader Cllr Rob Humby

Final numbers for this new contract will be determined later.

Speaking at the latest full council meeting, deputy council leader Cllr Rob Humby expressed his desire to stay ahead of the curve.

He said: "The national and regional provision shows Hampshire has a higher number of rapid charging points relative to its population.

"But the market is changing very quickly as new cars come through with longer ranges and faster charging options. We want to ensure any investment will be fit for the future and it cannot be solved by the public sector alone.

"We will also be exploring the potential of rolling out ultra-fast charging points of 150kw at key locations around the county, to see whether this can be delivered cost-effectively."

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