The Southend Conservatives are calling on the Southend Council administration for immediate action to increase the number of the rapid charging points in Southend for Electric vehicles.
This comes prior to a motion of the Council to declare a Climate Emergency is discussed at cabinet. A motion that the Southend Conservatives fully support.
Cllr Kevin Buck, Shadow Portfolio Holder for Transport said,
'Demand is quickly growing for electric vehicle charging points and we as a council must ensure we are ahead of the demand curve, otherwise it could stifle the take-up and growth of EV’s in the town and country. Renewable energy solutions with zero emissions capabilities are the future of a circular economy that is free from the dependency of polluting fossil fuels. Whilst our longer term transport strategy is needed and welcome, there are shorter term demands that need to be satisfied now. As we are about to declare a climate emergency in the borough at the next council meeting, to fail to provide the short term demand would be to delay the migration process to zero emissions vehicles and the cleaner air quality that we all seek'.
'If we are to use the carrot and stick approach to encourage users in to zero emissions vehicles and improve air quality, we must dangle the carrot first (Infrastructure in Rapid Charge Points etc) and before we use the stick (Congestion Charging, ULEZ etc, etc)! Southend has a high proportion of residents who either live in flats/apartments with little or no dedicated parking or in streets with no off road parking, therefore public charge points in residential roads are essential to many. The city of Oslow in Norway is currently festooned with 1,300 public EV charge points, ranging from rapid, pop up and lamp post chargers and this is expected to grow to 2000 in the very near future. By contrast, I’m informed that Southend currently has only 1 public 'rapid charge point' (50kwh) and a small number of standard charge points. The Norwegians should also be commended for their take up of the EV technology, which seems to work very well in their colder climate!'
'There is still a battle to be won in the UK with the hearts and minds of many who need convincing to change from fossil fuel powered vehicles to EV’s, therefore we have to ensure that we provide these vital infrastructure services. I will continue at every opportunity to lobby for more EV charge points in the town to support both the business and domestic users of zero emissions electric vehicles'.