Visitors to Cumbria and the Lake District will have access to rapid charging facilities for their electric and hybrid vehicles.
Evolt, the Electric Vehicle (EV) charge point supplier, has completed the installation of Cumbria’s first publicly accessible EV Rapid charging network, which is now available for public use.
Nine locations across the county now benefit from a top-of-the-range Evolt 50Kw Rapid Charger that can efficiently charge an EV within 30 minutes. A further Evolt 7Kw Fast Charger, ideal for quick ‘top-ups’ during short stay visits, has also been installed at four of those sites (Carlisle, Kendal, Workington and Keswick). The other five sites are comprised of Whitehaven, Ulverston, Kirkby Stephen, Kirkby Lonsdale and Ambleside.
Evolt, which is a division of the APT Controls Group, won a competitive tender to supply its charge points from Cumbria County Council in November 2015.
Councillor Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member responsible for Environment, explains that Cumbria now provides a low carbon transport alternative: “Up until now there have been limited charging facilities in Cumbria,” she says. “I’m sure this project will help open up the county to more electric vehicle drivers and make a real difference, both in Cumbria and nationally.”
The installation process included three stages: firstly, initial civil works including excavation and inserting power cables, ensuring the power infrastructure is in place; secondly the physical charge points’ installation; and finally their connection to a back office management system that remotely monitors each charge point. After testing, the charge points have been made ready for public use.
Justin Meyer, General Manager of Evolt, explains its chargers will positively impact the lives of EV and Hybrid drivers in and around Cumbria: “The new network will drive forward EV activity in the region, with the infrastructure actively supporting the ambitions of an ever-increasing industry.”
Suzanne Burgess of Solway Renewables initially proposed that the Council should seek funding from OLEV: “There has been significant interest surrounding the charging network, and it will make a substantial difference to individuals, small business and the tourist industry that is hugely important for Cumbria,” she says. “It’s time to get the word out that Cumbria is open to electric vehicle drivers.”