Increase in electric car charging points thanks to new partnership

Three dual charging points, which can be used by up to six vehicles at time, have been placed at Westminster Lodge car...

Electric Blue's chief executive officer Dan O'Hara with Cllr Chris White at the new electric charging points at Westminster Lodge, St Albans. - Credit: SADC

Wanting to make the switch to an electric car, but weary of how charging points are few and far between? Worry no more! 

Fast charging points for electric vehicles have been installed at a St Albans leisure centre to help motorists move away from fossil fuels.

Three dual charging points, which can be used by up to six vehicles at time, have been placed at Westminster Lodge car park as part of a pilot scheme by St Albans district council to cut harmful carbon emissions and tackle the climate emergency.

'Fuelling' up is simple: drivers will be able to pay for the electricity they use on their mobile phone by downloading an app, without a subscription fee or minimum spend. Around 30 miles of driving range is obtained for each hour of charge.

Depending on the success of the Westminster Lodge charging points, the council intends to install further points across the district. St Albans-based company Electric Blue was appointed to install, maintain and operate the chargers on the council’s behalf.

Cllr Chris White, leader and portfolio holder for climate, environment and transport, said: “These chargers are in a prime location, easy to use and by following simple instructions, people can pay via their phone.

“As a council, we are pledged to turn the district carbon neutral by 2030 when the sale of new petrol and diesel driven cars is due to have been banned. One issue that is preventing people from switching to electric is a concern that there is not enough public charging points.

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“We have promised, despite the pressure on our finances, to create more points for residents and visitors. The chargers here, sited beside the district’s busiest leisure centre and recreational park, is a step in that direction.

“We’ll be examining the success of this pilot project, seeing what lessons need to be learned and hopefully setting up more points in the near future. People want to switch to electric to do their bit for the environment and we must encourage that.”

The project - which cost £17,000 in total - was part-funded by the government's Office for Low Emission Vehicles, with the department footing 75 per cent of the cost. This was thanks to the support of the Energy Saving Trust.

Electric Blue’s chief executive officer Dan O’Hara said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting the team in St Albans on their mission to create a carbon neutral city. They’re a particularly important partnership for us as this is our home city, a city we love and chose as the base for our business.

“Our mission at Electric Blue is to help reduce our collective carbon footprint and improve the air quality in our towns and cities. The installation of more electric charging points is another great step towards a greener and cleaner future.

“We hope that today’s three new dual chargers in the city at Westminster Lodge on top of those we installed in the city last year will encourage more drivers to switch to electric vehicles and ultimately help deliver cleaner air for everyone in St Albans.”