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car chargingDorset Council has announced ambitious plans to get electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints into towns and villages across the Dorset Council area, as part of its new Charging Ahead programme.

By 2030, the programme aims to get 80 percent of Dorset households within a 10-minute walk of a public chargepoint.

To date, the focus has been on putting electric vehicle chargers into the county’s main towns, with nearly 100 chargers installed by the council and installation partner, Joju Charging, in the past three years.

The Charging Ahead programme will now concentrate on getting chargepoints into Dorset’s more rural areas and supporting those households that aren’t able to charge vehicles at home.

The plans, which will play a key part in preparing the county for the government’s 2050 net-zero target, will see as many as 200 electric vehicle chargepoints installed in communities across the Dorset Council area over the next three years.

Funding for the new chargepoints will mostly come from the government’s local electric vehicle infrastructure (LEVI) scheme and Mer, a European EV charging company, with an additional contribution from the council.

According to Ofgem, it’s expected that one in four UK households will buy an electric vehicle in the next five years, and by 2030 electric vehicles will make up nearly a third of all vehicles on UK roads.

To meet this growing demand and prepare for the upcoming ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, it’s anticipated that Dorset will need more than 2,500 public charge points by 2030.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘We are delighted to have been selected as one of 20 pilot councils in the UK to benefit from government funding to improve local electric vehicle infrastructure.

‘As more people switch to electric vehicles, a reliable and accessible public charging network will be crucial in attracting visitors to Dorset as well as supporting the businesses and residents that are already here.

‘This funding provides a real opportunity to make sure Dorset’s communities are fully connected to the network and offers charging options for those who don’t have access to off-street parking.’

Karl Anders, managing director at Mer UK, said: ‘Local authorities are a core part of the effort to enable and encourage the electric mobility transition across the UK. Mer is pleased to be working with Dorset Council to help make electric vehicle driving more accessible for its residents and visitors through our charging solutions.’

The council will be working with local communities, landowners and businesses to identify the best locations to install the new chargepoints.

If your community could benefit from a chargepoint, you can suggest possible locations by submitting an online form on the council’s website or by contacting your local town or parish council.

Discussions are also taking place between the council and Mer to develop ‘charging hubs’ in key tourist hotspots in Dorset to help meet the charging needs of visitors.

For more information on electric vehicle charging in Dorset, including where to find chargepoints, how to use them, and how much they cost, visit the Dorset Council website.

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