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A PS2m booster for electric car future.

Byline: HYWEL TREWYN & STEVE BAGNALL Daily Post Reporters

THE Welsh Government is to pump PS2m to create a network of charging points for electric and hybrid cars around the country.

Local authorities are being encouraged to bid for a cut of the money as part of the move away from petrol and diesel takes pace.

There are nearly 2,500 plug-in vehicles and 439 charge points around the country, campaign group Go Ultra Low said.

It comes as Wales saw a boom in electric and hybrid car sales last year with a 35 per cent increase in registrations compared to the UK average of 27 per cent growth.

Large companies such as Travelodge and Premier Inn are installing car charging points on their sites and the National Trust has them at Bodnant Garden, Chirk Castle, Wrexham and Cwrt farm, Pwllheli, Gwynedd.

The Welsh Government's PS2m will be used to "develop a network of public electric charging points near our trunk roads," said Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates. Electric vehicle (EV) supporter Ynys Mon AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said the cash was negotiated by Plaid Cymru and although "nowhere near as much as was needed - was a start."

Anglesey currently has 12 charging points - seven at the council offices, with more planned depending on funding.

A council spokesman said: "Electric cars are very popular with staff and run at a cost of only 2p per mile."

Gwynedd Council has installed public charging points at five tourism businesses in Meirionnydd as a pilot project.

A spokesman said: "As part of k d i fl work to modernise our fleet, we are looking into the possibility of making use of electric and hybrid vehicles where possible in future."

Gwynedd business Zip World has 17 electric cars.

Conwy council has four electric vehicles and is looking to buy more. It too is considering installing electric charge points.

Denbighshire said it had seen "an increased number of enquiries from the public". Flintshire transport chief Steve Jones said they were researching options for the public and workers' use.

Wrexham council has two electric vehicles and is looking at five locations to get charging points at Waterworld Car Park, Ty Pawb arts centre, Ty Mawr Country Park, Alyn Waters Country Park and the World Heritage Site Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at a cost of PS132,500 from the council's carbon budget.

It is considering further installations at Wrexham Industrial Estate - Redwither Tower, Llay Industrial Estate, Ruabon Train Station, Chirk - Glyn Wylfa and Wrexham Bus Station, if a PS180,000 bid for Welsh Government funds is successful. In a report to the executive board, Wrexham council's lead member for Place, Environment and Transport Cllr David A Bithell said it should be a priority.

He wrote: "The environmental impacts of climate change, the rising cost of petrol and diesel, government penalties and targets imposed for carbon emissions and green travel, make environmental responsibility a priority for Wrexham."

Powys council is to spend PS200,000 on electric charge points in council car parks.

Ceredigion is in the process of tendering for public use electric vehicle charging points at their offices in Aberystwyth and Aberaeron but is not currently considering electric cars for its own fleet.

Mr Skates said: "We are currently working with all local authorities across Wales to produce a delivery framework in order for this funding to be made available as soon as possible. This investment provides a healthy kick start in supporting the transition from petrol and diesel vehicles."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 19, 2018
Words:590
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