Charging stations for electric vehicles will be put into service in five car parks within a few weeks

Electric vehicles will soon be able to be charged in five car parks in West Oxfordshire.

The newly renovated car parks will feature 32 EZ Charge “smart” fast-charging units, covering 64 parking spaces.

The Woodford Way car park in Witney is due to open in early April.

The other four car parks, which are expected to go live in the coming weeks, are Back Lane (Eynsham), New Street (Chipping Norton), Black Bourton Road (Carterton) and Hensington Road (Woodstock).

Each will offer both ‘tethered’ and ‘socketed’ chargers and can be used with Type 1 or Type 2 connections.

It is part of a project to deploy charging stations for electric vehicles throughout the department.

The Park and Charge Oxfordshire project will provide more places to charge on the go and allow residents without off-street parking to park for free overnight and charge their electric vehicles at a competitive price.

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Councilor David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said: ‘The uptake of electric vehicles is growing at an increasingly rapid rate and the uptake of ultra-low-emission vehicles in Oxfordshire is particularly high by compared to the UK average, so it’s crucial we have the infrastructure in place to support drivers who have already gone electric while encouraging those who are considering doing so.

The new chargers have been designed and produced by the Bicester-based company – EZ Charge – who will operate them.

Councilor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for climate change and the environment, said: ‘Many councilors have already had residents who have no off-street parking ask questions on electric vehicle charging, and we at the county council know we need to accelerate different solutions to this problem.”

The Park and Charge Oxfordshire project is receiving £5.4 million in funding, including £4.1 million from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles through Innovate UK and the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

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The remaining investment comes from business partners Zeta Specialist Lighting and UK (Urban Integrated).

The district council is in preliminary talks to identify more rural locations where charging stations could be installed.

And it is working with its own supplier, EB Charging, on a separate project that will see four 7kW charging units installed in the Burford car park, providing eight charging bays, as part of the first phase of planned work.

A grant application will now be submitted to the government with a final decision made on the facility in late spring.