ALMOST half a million pounds will be spent on improving electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in Wiltshire.
Wiltshire Council has been awarded £480,000 over the next two years by the Department for Transport (DfT) to spend on staff who will plan and support delivery of growth in charging.
The DfT’s Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund supports local authorities to develop infrastructure for residents that do not have access to off-street parking, such as on drives.
The funding will be spent on five project officers, tasked with creating an EV Infrastructure Strategy that will research and set out the sites and maps of EV charge points that will be installed around the county.
The team will also apply for more DfT LEVI funding of up to £3.88m, a figure set by the DfT, to bring EV infrastructure providers on board to install more charge points throughout Wiltshire.
Cllr Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport, said: “To enable more people to use electric vehicles, we need an improved network of chargers here in Wiltshire.
“Usually, EV infrastructure providers look to provide chargers in areas that are most profitable for them, and that can leave out rural areas.
“Revenue funding is targeted on increasing our capacity to do more, so must be spent on officers rather than the chargers themselves.
“This new team will look to create a county-wide strategy and bring in providers that will install chargers into villages as well as towns, in areas where residents do not have access to off-street parking.”
Once the new team is in place, they will look to secure further LEVI funding of up to £3.88m, she added, to help install more chargers throughout Wiltshire.
“Our Business Plan sets out our commitment to becoming carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030, along with a pledge to support the decarbonisation of transport in the county, and the creation of this new team, along with the 70 new charging points we have installed in our car parks, will help us on that journey,” Cllr Thomas added.