Work is underway by Labour-run Bristol City Council to build the city’s first rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hub at Eastville Park.
Expected to launch this summer, the charging hub will have space for four vehicles to ‘rapid charge’, meaning a standard EV could refuel to 80% in as little as 20 minutes. Alongside the latest EV technology, the hub will include new toilets and a food and drink kiosk.
The Eastville charging hub is another step to making EVs more of an accessible option for people, alongside already available EV discounts, business grants, car-clubs and scrappage schemes.
Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Energy and Transport at Bristol City Council, said: “Bristol has committed to be a city that runs entirely on clean energy, and to have clean air. We’re determined to meet local demand for charge points to enable as many residents and businesses as possible to switch now to electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicles (EVs) are one part of Bristol’s emerging transport strategy. We need to support the growth of EVs and ensure we have the right infrastructure in place.
“To make the charging hub more convenient and attractive for customers, we are adding new toilets and a food and drink kiosk, making the best use of our limited funding to enhance the experience of anyone visiting Eastville Park. We hope seeing the new public infrastructure will encourage more people to make the switch to EV in the next few years.”
The charging hub is part of the Go Ultra Low West project, which will deliver £7.1million of funding over five years to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, across the region.
In addition to the Eastville hub, 120 public electric vehicle charge points are being installed across the region between 2019-2021.
As well as charging points for public use, the Council will be install four rapid charging units exclusively for use by taxis, at a central location near to the M32 which has yet to be confirmed.
Ultra-low emission taxis will help improve air quality in towns and city centres, but one of the barriers which has previously stopped drivers from switching has been the lack of available charging points.
Councillor Dudd said: “Taxis play an important role in Bristol’s public transport system, often providing trips that are difficult to replace by other modes of transport.
“We have already laid the foundations for moving towards a more environmentally friendly fleet by implementing policies encouraging drivers to switch to ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV). This new funding represents the next significant step, enabling us to install a dedicated network of charging points solely for use by taxi drivers.
“Coupled with the increased availability of electric and hybrid vehicles we hope to see ULEV taxi numbers increase significantly over the coming years.”
On April 1 2018 the council introduced a new taxi licensing policy. The policy states that:
- All new Hackney Carriages must be ULEV
- All replacement Hackney Carriages have to be Euro VI or better
- All new Private Hire vehicles must be petrol or better
There are currently a range of subsidies in place, worth over £3,500 to encourage Hackney Carriage drivers to switch to a ULEV. The package of incentives on offer includes licencing fees and a permit to operate at Temple Meads Railway Station.