District's rapid EV chargers doubled
13 October 2022
Three new, super-fast electric vehicle (EV) rapid chargers have been installed at Belle Meadow car park in Barnstaple, the first step in a partnership that will more than double the number of rapid EV charge points in the district.
Belle Meadow is the first charging location in a partnership between North Devon Council and Osprey Charging, one of the UK's largest and most popular EV charging networks.
The joint programme will increase the number of rapid EV chargers in the district from seven to 15, significantly improving access to EV charging for residents, visitors and tourists. The new charging stations, which each offer 100 miles of charge in 25 minutes, will be installed across the region in Barnstaple, Lynton, South Molton and Ilfracombe.
The distribution of EV charge points varies hugely across the UK. Access to charging is one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption. There are concerns that more rural areas where charge points are traditionally less common, such as North Devon, risk being left behind in the EV transition without visible reassurance of ample public charging.
Over six million tourists visit northern Devon throughout the year and tourism is one of the area's most economically important sectors. As EV uptake increases across the country ahead of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles, more and more of these visitors will require EV charging to complete their journeys and continue to visit.
Lead Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, says: “We are firmly committed to encouraging cleaner transport across the district; cherishing and protecting our environment is one of the council's corporate priorities. This upcoming installation work will be great news for EV drivers who currently live in or visit our district, and will hopefully encourage others to consider transitioning to electric vehicles in the future. By partnering with an innovative company like Osprey, which installs, manages, and maintains the rapid chargers, we’re able to deliver essential EV infrastructure at no cost to the council.”
Patrick Sherriff, Property Director of Osprey Charging, said: “No region should be left behind in the transition to cleaner transport. North Devon has made a choice to future-proof its communities and protect the environment, with a safe, reliable, accessible rapid charging service. Osprey’s investment in high-power charging stations in Devon makes choosing an electric vehicle possible not only for the millions of seasonal visitors to the area, but crucially to the local residents and businesses who might otherwise be nervous of making the transition.”
Earlier this year Osprey committed to providing accessible and safe charging when it became the first charging network to subscribe to independent public EV charging endorsement body ChargeSafe, to inspect and rate its sites. This pledge will ensure the charging facilities at each new chargers installed in North Devon are as accessible as possible in the space available.
Osprey is funding the installation, operation and maintenance of the chargers whilst sharing revenue with the council.