Funding provides electric charging boost in borough

28 May 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council has used two sources of funding to boost electric vehicle charging facilities right across the borough.

New facilities are available across West Cheshire to allow residents and visitors to charge their electric vehicles in more locations, especially in areas where residents have no off-street parking.

The project has been delivered by Council company Qwest Services in partnership with leading Energy specialist, ENGIE, using funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and a Government Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) grant, along with match funding from the Council.

As part of the Council’s commitment to tackle the Climate Emergency and to improve local air quality across the borough, a total of 29 new electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints have been installed. With the Government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars just nine years away, the chargepoints will help residents, businesses and the Council to start making the switch to electric vehicles.

An Electric Charging Hub has been created in Ellesmere Port. At the Council’s Canalside Operations Depot up to 28 Council electric vehicles will be able to fully charge overnight and a further pair of rapid chargers will be available at the Canal & River Trust’s National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port (Boat Museum). These will give a full charge in as little as half an hour.  As well as servicing the Council’s electric fleet, the Waterways Museum chargers will also be available for use by local businesses.

The LEP funding has created the Electric Charging Hub and OLEV funding has provided charging in Council-owned car parks.

Drivers of electric vehicles are now also able to recharge their cars using two dual-socket fast GeniePoint chargers, installed and managed by ENGIE EV Solutions at each the following car parks:
  • Bishop Street Car Park - Chester 
  • Brook Street Car Park - Chester 
  • Shrewsbury Road Car Park - Ellesmere Port
  • Moor Lane Car Park - Frodsham
  • Chester Road Car Park - Neston
  • Park Street Car Park - Northwich
These chargers are sited in car parks close to areas where residents lack off-street parking. The cost of charging an EV will be keenly priced to encourage people to make the switch.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transports, Councillor Karen Shore said: “The rapid chargers at the Boat Museum are in a prime position for use by businesses along the M53 and our facilities in car parks can benefit both local residents with no private driveway to install their own charging facilities, as well as shoppers and visitors.”

“We are grateful for the financial support received from the LEP and OLEV and have once again enjoyed collaborating with our partners to make this happen.”

Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency added: “This is a positive step for Cheshire West and Chester to become a cleaner, greener borough and shows how important the environment is to the Council as we work to tackle the Climate Emergency.

“Our Low Emission Strategy seeks to accelerate the rate of electric vehicle take up within the Borough. Battery electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, which is important for people’s health, and the power supplied to our public chargepoints is from 100% renewable sources.  Providing a good network of public charging points throughout Cheshire West has been identified as critical to deliver this.”

Dee Humphries, Managing Director of ENGIE EV Solutions, said: “Local authorities play a vital role in helping the UK to achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, so it’s fantastic to once again be working alongside Cheshire West and Chester Council to deliver multiple electric vehicle charging provisions in the district. 

“By improving EV charging infrastructure for council workers, local businesses, and the public, we hope to be able to encourage even wider adoption of electric vehicles in the local area – taking us one step closer to achieving net zero carbon emissions.”

Ben Cummins, Managing Director of Qwest Services, the Council company responsible for delivering the works, said: “Qwest is proud to support the Council in the transition to a zero carbon economy, these charging points will allow residents and visitors to transfer to electric vehicles with confidence.”

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