Electric vehicle charging stations planned for Mill Road

West Devon Borough Council is starting work to install three electric vehicle charging stations in the Old Mill car park in Okehampton.

The borough council is working with energy company Scottish Power to undertake the first stage of the program as electric vehicles become more popular.

West Devon Borough Councilor Lynn Daniel said: ‘Electric cars are more economically viable now, especially as fossil fuel prices continue to rise sharply and many more electric cars are being sold. now. WDBC must provide these facilities to local people and visitors.

Some parking spaces will soon be marked off in anticipation of the engineering work.

Initial work will see Scottish Power install three charging units that will support different types of vehicles in designated spaces. The utility company Western Power Distribution will then connect the units to the national grid.

The final stage of work will see Scottish Power return to commission the machines, paint the bays and mark them as electric vehicle charging bays before a commissioning date is set.

However, the stations are unlikely to be ready before the end of the year as Western Power is currently in high demand and the council must receive permission from the owner before work can take place.

North Tawton City Council discussed the possibility of installing electric vehicle charging stations in the town last November and decided it would approach local businesses to see if they would be willing to install them. No firm decision has yet been made on whether to go ahead with the idea.

Electric vehicle charging stations have started to be installed in the West Devon area in recent years.

In 2019, West Devon Borough Council launched a two-year, £1.3m project to install at least 25 electric vehicle charging points for public use in car parks across Devon, which included a grant from the council of the county of Devon of £817,712.

The program aimed to install electric vehicle charging stations in car parks in Devon’s largest communities, including Tavistock and Okehampton.

It was due to be completed by December 2021 and the council estimated it would prevent more than 300 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year.

The scheme followed a survey carried out at the time which suggested that some residents of West Devon considered the lack of public charging stations to have influenced their decision whether or not to switch to an electric vehicle.

Dartmoor National Park is also moving towards becoming more environmentally friendly and plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at the Postbridge Center as part of its plan to become net zero by 2025.

There are currently over 400 electric vehicle charging stations in Devon.