The Electric Car Challenge
At the next meeting of South Hams District Council's Executive, councillors will be discussing electric car charging points and deciding if the Council should enter the Devon and Torbay Residential Charge Point Scheme.
The Devon and Torbay residential charge point scheme, is a scheme that would enable the Council to install electric charging points at four more locations in the District with grant funding.
Through its emerging future vision 'Better Lives for All', South Hams District Council has made a commitment to help others adapt and mitigate against climate change and biodiversity loss. One of the ways they could do this is by enabling more local people to switch to electric vehicles. However, like many other councils in the county, the biggest challenge they face, is how to provide the charging infrastructure that is needed.
This is something that was echoed by many local residents in our recent "Better Lives for All" survey.
One resident said: "We've had an EV car for two years and the lack of chargers in Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Salcombe is annoying."
Another said "It is something that visitors are asking for and is woefully under supplied.
Someone else, said: "These public charging points are essential."
Cllr Keith Baldry, South Hams District Council's Executive Member for Car Parking, said: "In our emerging vision for the future, 'Better Lives for All' we have set out many actions we plan to take to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
"In terms of electric vehicles, this includes a commitment to adopt an electric vehicle charging strategy. We know how important infrastructure is and we are currently consulting the public on whether they would be interested in an electric car and bike club.
"With our partners at Devon County we are working to install electric charging points in Totnes, Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, Salcombe and Modbury, however, I am aware that this is not enough.
"While the whole nation is still absorbing the IPCC's new report on the impacts of global warming, one thing is abundantly clear; we all have to do more."
South Hams District Council says that it plans to take advantage of every available funding scheme, such as the one that they will discuss next week, the Devon and Torbay Residential Charge Point Scheme, and that this in turn will help residents to play their part and switch to electric. However, the Council also stresses that they cannot do this alone.
Cllr Keith Baldry added: "As we saw from our recent survey, there are clearly significant barriers stopping residents from going electric. Only 26% of those polled said they were thinking of switching to an all-electric vehicle, citing affordability and lack of charging points as two of the main barriers.
"I would encourage all Towns and Parish Council where possible to take advantage of the funding schemes available to install electric charging points. Together with Devon County we will do what we can, but this will need significant support from central government too. We will also continue to lobby government for that support to make it easier for people to make the switch."
Cllr Tom Holway, South Hams District Council Executive Member for Climate Change and Biodiversity concluded: "I totally support Councillor Baldry in this initiative. It makes sense for Devon authorities to adopt the same infrastructure across the county and will provide a much needed incentive for our residents to consider acquiring electric vehicles."
You can watch and listen to the Executive debating the Devon and Torbay Residential Charge Point Scheme on 16 September at 10:00 am here: https://youtu.be/yiKTpONl5d4