£2 million boost for electric charging points in Wales

£2 million of government funds will be used to roll out high-tech electric charging points at strategic road links throughout Wales.

Secured as part of the two-year budget agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, the funding will allow a network of rapid charging points to be created by 2020.

The project will support locations on or near strategic Welsh road networks, particularly North-South and East-West journeys. Charging points may also be installed at park and ride facilities, as well as taxi ranks.

Speaking about the project, Transport Secretary Ken Skates said he’s looking at a national concession model to deliver and run the network. In the future, a contractor could operate, maintain and carry out investment in the network.

Ken Skates said: “We are committed to promoting the use of electric and hybrid vehicles in the transition from petrol and diesel.

“This funding for electric charging points will be a massive boost to the network and will help motorists who want to use electric vehicles for longer journeys.

“This could prove to be a catalyst for change in our efforts to support the use of electric vehicles. We have chosen to focus on the North/South and East/West routes as we realise their importance for travelling around Wales.”

Currently, there are 500 publicly accessible charging points in Wales and 2,500 plug-in vehicles. However, the number of Welsh electric and hybrid car registrations increased by 35 per cent in 2017.

According to Skates, the project is key in creating a sustainable future for the country. He added: “In these challenging times it is more important than ever that we work to improve sustainable transport links, to increase our low-carbon transport options and to make Wales as accessible as we can.

“This funding is a clear demonstration of our commitment towards mitigating the impacts of climate change alongside reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.”

Image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns