Call for more rapid electric car charging points to be installed in West Norfolk
More rapid electric car charging points should be installed in West Norfolk.
That’s according to two taxi drivers in the borough, who themselves use electric cars in their businesses, as they claim there are currently not enough.
Although there are three rapid electric charging points at St James multi-storey car park in Lynn, these are often used by vehicles that are not electric, and for longer than necessary to charge a vehicle to capacity, they said.
Steve O’Donnell, owner of Steve’s Taxi Service Ltd, said although he is happy to pay to charge his vehicle, he has an issue with having to pay to park there as well.
Mr O’Donnell, who has a Tesla electric car, said: “Every car park run by the borough council should have at least one or two charging points. I believe they should be free up to the first hour and a half.”
He added: “The biggest problem is petrol and diesel cars parking there. It’s the equivalent of us parking on a filling station forecourt and going off.
“We would get arrested for that, as you can’t block a filling station.”
Mr O’Donnell said he also believes money is available from central government to fund the installation of additional charging bays.
If there were more bays, he believes this would encourage more members of the public and taxi firms to purchase electric cars instead of petrol and diesel vehicles, which would also help with the issue of climate change by lowering carbon emissions.
“We want to make our fleet more electric,” Mr O’Donnell said.
“But unless we have got the charging points we are not going to be able to increase it.
“We have got to start somewhere, we have got to put the infrastructure in for people to see the charging points are coming.”
Ian Carson, of QJ’s Travel, is of a similar opinion.
He said there are a number of electric charging points at businesses in Lynn, but these take longer and you have to be a customer to use them.
Mr Carson said he also believes there should be dedicated taxi-only charging points.
“We need charging units everyday, if you put them in, they will get used,” he added.
A West Norfolk Council spokesman said: “It is good to see any increase in electric vehicle use.
“We are considering our options for the future, including the review of usage data from the existing chargers to determine how long stays should be permitted for.
“Any change to the current operation would require a revision to the legal orders which is not a quick process.
“In the meantime we actively patrol these bays, and vehicles parked using these bays while not connected to the chargers will be issued a PCN.”