There are already a number of home charged electric cars and vans based in Exminster and this will inevitably grow over the years to come. The Government has decided that the sale of new petrol and diesel fuelled cars and vans will end by 2030 and hybrid vehicles by 2035. This will provide an incentive for more motorists to go electric, although no date has yet been set for the end of fossil fuelled vehicles being used on our roads.
However, Devon County Council has stated that: “Merely substituting existing transport usage in Devon with electric vehicles and maintaining current behaviours could be a “successful failure”, missing a once-in-a-generational opportunity to realise the benefits for health and wellbeing that increased sustainable travel would generate and the transformational changes that this could bring to Devon’s town and city centres.” Just think about the continued traffic congestion and pollution from particulate emissions that travel by car, even electric ones, brings in its wake.
There are other challenges currently facing the wide-scale roll-out of electric vehicles:
- The high cost of the technology.
- The lack of sufficient renewable generating capacity in the national grid.
- The need to develop a domestic industry capable of producing large numbers of vehicle batteries.
- The limited supply of the rare metals needed in battery production.
- The lack of suitable battery charging points.
The last of these challenges is of particular concern to prospective owners of electric vehicles who do not have the off-road space, such as a drive, to charge them at home. Such residents may need to apply to their local authority for a public EV charging point to be provided nearby, otherwise they will have to depend on the limited number of charging points elsewhere. What we do not want to see are electric cables stretching across pavements for long periods and forcing pedestrians to walk in the road!
Under action ENV13, we presented a report to the Parish Council dealing with these issues. Currently, Exminster Parish Council does not have the legal power itself to install charging points in the village, although it could apply for this in the future, given sufficient trained personnel. In the meantime, it has enlisted support from the Rapid Charging Exeter consortium that is using public funding to install such points throughout Exeter and the surrounding area. Following a brief survey of interest among residents, we are now expecting consent to be given to the installation of four EV charging points in Reddaway Drive in February 2022, with completion on site by the early summer.
Many more public charging points will be required in the next few years and we will continue to look for opportunities to bring them about.
Under action ENV14, we contacted Co-cars, a company that supplies and runs electric community car clubs in Exeter and other parts of the South West, and arranged a brief survey of residents’ interest. Unfortunately, this failed to provide enough support to bring a Co-car into the village.
However, as part of the ‘Rapid Charging Exeter’ project, one Co-car will be located in the Reddaway Drive site from the summer of 2022.
Co-cars’ sister company, Co-bikes, supplies and maintains a fleet of electric bikes in the area and we are hopeful that a number will shortly be installed in the Dryfield car park here in Exminster.