‘An investment in the future’ - new public charging points for electric cars in Sidmouth

Stuart Hughes, Bob Weeks and Christine Winter with the electric car charging points at Stowford Rise

Stuart Hughes, Bob Weeks and Christine Winter with the electric car charging points at Stowford Rise Community Centre Ref shs 10 20TI 9282 Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth has its first two public charging points for electric cars.

Stuart Hughes, Bob Weeks and Christine Winter with the electric car charging points at Stowford Rise

Stuart Hughes, Bob Weeks and Christine Winter with the electric car charging points at Stowford Rise Community Centre Ref shs 10 20TI 9282 Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Two seven-kilowatt Rolec chargers have been installed in the car park of the Stowford Community Centre, and they will soon be listed on the national database of charging points.

The co-director of the centre, Bob Weeks, described them as an 'investment in the future' that he hopes will be part of a Sidmouth-wide move towards a greener lifestyle.

Mr Weeks and his wife Christine took over as directors of the centre in January 2019, and one of their first actions was to install a Tesla powerwall, which stores solar energy like a battery.

He also moved the studios of his community radio station, Sid Valley Radio, to the building.


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From the start Mr and Mrs Weeks had plans to install electric car charging points, particularly after one of the radio presenters said he was unable to charge his electric car in Sidmouth.

Mr Weeks said: "There is a charger at the Victoria Hotel and at the Hunter's Moon, but they're for residents, and there is no community charging.

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"So I spoke to Councillor Stuart Hughes about six months ago and we started looking at the best way of doing it."

Government grants are available to help buy car charging points, and after the grant, the cost of buying the charging points was £2,000 each.

The community centre will be able to keep the money people spend charging their cars, but this is only £3 to £5, depending on the size of the car battery.

But Mr Weeks said the initiative is not about making a profit.

"It's an investment, you have to invest in the future," he said.

"Charging is the future, everybody is moving towards electric cars, and we need to make that investment now."

Sidmouth district councillor Stuart Hughes, who is also the county council's cabinet member for highways management, said: "It's brilliant, here we have the first two charging points in Sidmouth available to the public, and there'll be two more going in at Sidmouth football club, which I funded through the Investing in Devon fund.

"This is the way ahead. The Government have said they want all petrol and diesel cars to be off the production lines by 2030, so you've got to have the infrastructure, and this is just the start."

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