Frustration for electric car drivers over lack of rapid charge points
- Credit: Archant
Electric cars are seen as the eco-friendly way to get around - but campaigners say far more needs to be done in Norfolk to encourage people to make the switch.
A free-to-use charging network, known as Source East, set up in the East of England in 2011 as part of a government scheme promised 1,200 points across the region.
But, with financial costs unsustainable, that scheme came to an end this March, with the points being moved over to pay-to-charge system.
And the plug was also pulled on a scheme to install charge points at more than 40 fire stations.
The government had pledged more than £130,000, but as Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service would have had to match-fund, in a climate of cuts, the project was scrapped.
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While there are dozens of charge points across Norfolk, some are for staff only or can only be used by customers of businesses. And most take hours to charge vehicles.
There are just four rapid charge points - which enable vehicles to be charged up to 80pc of battery in just half an hour - in the county.
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And that, say those keen to see electric cars succeed, can make it difficult to plan for trips around a rural county like Norfolk.
When Paul Sergent, from Costessey, retired he bought an electric car, which can go for about 60 miles, before it needs to recharge
But he is frustrated at the lack of rapid charge points in Norfolk, which could power up his car in a fraction of the time it currently takes.
He said: 'Norfolk, again, is out on a limb and it's been like that for donkey's years.
'It is very frustrating at times. 'You hear on the news the government wants to do this, that and the other on pollution.
'Yet they're not putting the infrastructure in to make life bearable for us.'
Norfolk County Council says it has electric car charging points at park and ride sites at Norwich International Airport and at Harford.
Norwich City Council's recently built Rose Lane car park has charge points and city councillor Mike Stonard said the authority would like to do more, but it depended on funding being available.