The new chargers advance the strategy sketched out in Cardiff council's recent transport green paper
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging operator Engenie has installed its first two rapid EV charge points in Cardiff city centre, kickstarting a rollout that will double the number of rapid chargers in the Welsh capital.
The partnership with Cardiff City Council will see the British firm install 12 chargers across six sites by mid-2020, with the first four installed at Bute Crescent and Howard Place, the second batch at Windsor Place and King Edward VII Avenue, and the final four at two yet-to-be-determined sites in the city centre, Engenie said.
Each rapid charging point is simple to use, requires no membership or connection fee and operates with standard contactless payment cards, the firm added. They provide 80 miles of charge in 30-60 minutes, depending on the vehicle, and once complete, local EV drivers will be able to benefit from a week of free charging at the new sites.
"We're making EV charging a simple and easy process for visitors, businesses and residents of Cardiff by installing the most user-friendly rapid charging points available today," said Patrick Sheriff, property director at Engenie. "Our partnership with Cardiff council is supporting drivers making the switch to EVs as well as the council's plan to improve air quality in the city".
Recent research by Public Health Wales estimated that more than 225 deaths a year can attributed to particulate matter and NO2 pollution in the Cardiff and Vale Health Board area. Developing electric car infrastructure was a key focus of Cardiff Council's recent Green Paper on transport and clean air, published in October. The strategy sketched out plans to adopt smart technology such as Engenie's chargers and predictive software to help tackle air pollution.
"By partnering with a progressive company like Engenie, which installs, manages and maintains the rapid chargers, we're able to deliver essential EV infrastructure at no cost to the council. This influx of private investment into the city means we can continue to drive investment back into vital public services," said Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, Cardiff Council.
In related news, a new survey from renewable energy firm Tonik has shown that UK drivers are increasingly positively disposed towards the switch to greener vehicles. Its polling found nearly two-thirds of drivers see electric vehicles as a future option, but are not ready to commit, while one in 10 drivers claim they are already powered by electric or are committed to switch in 2020. In total, this means three-quarters of drivers either have committed or have an intention to switch to EVs.
"The winds of opinion and appetite around EV viability are rapidly changing for the good," said Tonik Energy CEO Chris Russell.
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