Drivers of electric vehicles can now take advantage of the borough’s first council-owned electric vehicle charging points using a new cashless Park and Charge system.
A multi-partnership approach led by Colchester Borough Council has, launched three electric vehicle (EV) charging points in Priory Street car park.
The charging points are the first in the UK to pilot the innovative new MiPermit Park and Charge service. This enables customers to pay for both charging and parking in one quick and easy transaction through the MiPermit app.
The EV charging points were installed last month to enable closed testing to take place ahead of the public launch.
The partnership, consisting of the council, the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP), MiPermit and Mobilize Power Solutions, hopes to install more chargers using the Park and Charge service across the borough once funding is secured. Potential sites have been identified and are being prioritised to ensure residents and visitors benefit as quickly as possible.
This project is just one of several measures being developed by the council in response to the climate emergency. To find out more about what the council is doing to combat the climate emergency visit: colchester.gov.uk/sustainability/our-strategy-and-climate-action-plan/
The MiPermit Park and Charge service enables residents and visitors to pay for their usual parking stay and for the electricity used to charge their vehicle (£0.25 per kWh) in one transaction, through the existing MiPermit app.
Users will be able to park and charge for a maximum of four hours to ensure fair rotation of the bays.
Bay sensor technology, which was recently deployed in Crouch Street, has also been installed to help monitor misuse remotely and to improve the communication of available charging points via the MiPermit app.
One of the new EV bays may also become a dedicated electric car club space later in the year. Electric car clubs give members the excellent opportunity to trial electric vehicles before making the move to own one and allow 24-hour access to a pay-as-you-go electric vehicle. Insurance and the cost of electricity is all included in the fee.
Cllr Simon Crow, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Environment & Sustainability, said: “I’m delighted to announce that by working in partnership, we can now offer EV charging in one of our town centre car parks. Not only does this help our efforts to protect the environment but shows the innovative approach we are taking with others to help play our part.
“This is a crucial first step in implementing an EV charging infrastructure across the borough and the prospect of an EV car club is a key part of this. It will provide a great benefit to residents and an opportunity to use more sustainable transport.
“I hope this and the other measures we are putting in place gives more residents the confidence to make the switch to electric vehicles too.”
Simon Cheung, Head of Business Development, MiPermit, added: “We are pleased to be working on this joint initiative for the first location to pilot our brand-new Park and Charge service. After a successful testing phase, we’re excited to roll out the product to the public and look forward to hearing their feedback.”
Mark Dickens, Managing Director from Mobilize Solutions, said: “It’s great to be involved in the council’s environment strategy. Working together, we can ensure residents and businesses have access to the latest EV charging facilities, which will encourage more electric vehicle drivers.”
During the pilot of the Park and Charge service, residents and users of the charging points will have the opportunity to feed back on their experience and the scheme through an online survey. This will also help the council to understand the demand for EV charging points across the borough.
NEPP will also be considering how existing resident permits and season tickets might be developed to include the cost of EV charging.
Colchester Borough Council continues to support Essex County Council to develop a wider on-street EV charging strategy to ensure that demand for charging points in both on and off-street parking locations can be met.