The community of Farmborough says it is tackling the “chargepoint desert” in North East Somerset by installing two chargepoints with the social enterprise Charge My Street.
Residents of Farmborough and the surrounding area who are considering switching to an electric vehicle now have the option to charge up while at Farmborough Memorial Hall or the local shop and café, thanks to two new fast-charging points installed by Cumbrian-based Charge my Street.
The chargepoints were installed and officially set live by TH White Group. The chargepoints are aimed at local people without home charging points and visitors who want to charge up during their stay in Farmborough, as well as those using the village hall, or the community shop and café next door.
Cllr Sam Ross, of Farmborough Parish Council, said, “We are currently the only 24/7 publicly accessible chargepoint in a five-mile radius of the village; as electric vehicles become the norm, it is incredibly important that rural villages such as Farmborough are not left behind.
“Whenever possible, the chargepoints draw power from the hall’s solar array, allowing drivers to charge whilst taking advantage of our volunteer-led community shop and café, serving homemade cakes, ice creams and hot drinks.”
“As the community shop and café are members of the Plunkett Foundation, we were made aware of Charge My Street at one of their webinars. I contacted Charge My Street as I believed that having the chargepoints would be very beneficial to the village, as it will allow residents without off-street parking to charge their current or prospective electric vehicle.”
“It has been great to work with another community organisation like Charge My Street.”
Cllr Ross added: “Previously, our local ward councillor had been ignored by the local authority when requesting Government funding set aside to install chargepoints in our rural village. It is important to invest economically and socially in rural communities such as ourselves, and the chargepoints bring another service to our village.”
Daniel Heery, director of Charge my Street said: “There are now two chargepoints within five minutes’ walk of many of the houses in Farmborough that don’t have off-street parking, so now it’s easier than ever to make the switch to an electric car.
“It’s been fantastic to work with Sam Ross and members of the Farmborough Memorial Hall Committee for this installation. They have shown a real desire to do something for their community and that’s been obvious throughout.
“So many of the large charging companies have been focused on installing chargepoints at motorway service stations or in larger towns and cities. This completely neglects those of us who live in small villages or in terraced housing who just want somewhere to park their electric vehicle to charge overnight. The more chargepoints like these we get installed in communities like this, the more people will be able to switch to an EV from their petrol/diesel car, cutting carbon emissions and saving themselves money.”
Local residents can charge up their vehicles on a pay-as-you-go basis or on a monthly energy package from £25 a month. More details can be found on the Charge My Street website.
In 2030, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned, and people will need to use alternative transport instead. For many who live in rural communities, a car is the only viable option for commuting, so a robust charging infrastructure is considered a vital part of Farmborough’s future.
Anyone wishing to suggest another site that would be a good host for a chargepoint can visit www.chargemystreet.co.uk/host
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s website says there is an ongoing project to expand the public charge point network; outside of Bath the website shows there are EV chargers at the Fox and Hounds car park in Keynsham and Dragonfly Leisure Centre in Midsomer Norton.
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