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Bristol Council awarded £500,000 for electric charging points
July 31, 2013
Bristol City Countil has been awarded over £500,000 to increase the number of City Rapid electric car charging points. 

The City will be getting £225,000 from the Department for Transport this year, with £337,500 being awarded the following year. In the second half of last year, there were only 14 users of the 36 charging points that are situated around the City, a Freedom of Information request revealed recently. 

The charging units, which can give some cars a full charge in just half an hour, cost £20,000. 

This particular grant funding is part of a £37,000,000 pot that the Department for Transport is giving to councils, as well as railway operators and hospitals, over the next three years. 

Mark Bradshaw, Bristol City councillor, the cabinet member for transport has said that this money is future proofing the city for a time when more businesses are able to use the vehicles. There is still a rather limited range of electric vehicles on the market, so for consumers they are reasonably expensive, though there is likely to be a far wider range of vehicles that are much more affordable in the future. 

Norman Baker, the Transport Minister has said that the United Kingdom recognised how important it was to get into the manufacturing of electric vehicles early so that the country could reap the benefits in the future. He went on to say that the United Kingdom is first in the game, so motor manufacturer's are investing extremely heavily into the country. It is also the right move from an environmenal point of view as electric cars are carbon free, at the point of use. He said that one of the drawbacks for people is the absence of charging points where they live, there has to be the infrastructure first of all, so the Department for Transport is identifying where there may be gaps. 

Drivers that are using the charging points will pay the nomal parking charge, with the electricity being supplied as no extra cost, as long as they sign up to provide basic details of their particular electricity usage four times a year. 

There are also other non council electric charging points that are available throughout Bristol, a mixture of paid for and free. 

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