Dorset Council secures funding to improve electric vehicle infrastructure in rural areas

Dorset has been announced as one of just nine areas in England to receive funding from a new government scheme which aims to improve electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The funding comes from the new Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme, through which, Dorset Council has managed to secure £2.7million to increase the number of EV charge points in the council area.

The council will be working closely with local communities, landowners and businesses to identify the best locations to install the new charge points.

As part of its response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency, the council has prioritised getting chargers into the county’s main towns to date.  This next round of work will focus more on increasing provision in Dorset’s more rural areas – something that will be key if Dorset hopes to meet the government target of becoming a carbon neutral county by 2050.

On top of a planned 175 fast chargers, this pilot will also include the installation of a small number of rapid or ultra-rapid (50 kW to 150 kW DC) chargers on or near main roads to support en route charging. Some charge points will be located at popular tourist locations where both residents and visitors can access them.

The new chargers will benefit a range of drivers, primarily targeting Dorset residents without access to off-street parking while also meeting the charging demands of those travelling into and through the county.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

“We are thrilled to hear the news that Dorset has been selected to be one of the pilot schemes for the government’s new Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funding.

“I’d like to congratulate the Transport Planning Team who have worked hard to put our winning bid together, it is a fantastic achievement to be selected from such a large number of applicants.

“This funding will allow us to expand the number of public charging points in our county’s more rural areas, supporting our ambitions to get at least 80% of Dorset households to be within a 10-minute walk of a charge point by 2025.

“Our next steps will be to work with communities and businesses to identify where these new charging points should be installed to best suit the needs of our residents and visitors.  This is an exciting step forward for our county.”

The total pilot is estimated to cost £2.7 million, £1m of this has been secured through the LEVI programme, £1.1m will come from private sector investment, and the remaining £0.6m will be funded by capital investment from the council.

For more information on electric vehicle charging in Dorset, visit the Dorset Council website.

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