Plug in and go for free at this new Hartlepool electric vehicle charging station
The first community led electric car charging station has launched in Hartlepool as the Government announces plans to phase sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles.
Community Interest Company HartlePower has created the facility at The Energy Hub in Stranton.
It has the capability to recharge four electric vehicles at any one time and is free until the end of December.
Paul Hewitson, of HartlePower, said demand for charging points in the town is expected to increase as electric vehicles become more affordable and more car makers including Vauxhall and Peugeot produce models.
He said: "This is an environmental project to try to encourage people to make the switch to electric.
“There is a lot of cars that are now affordable so we will see a lot more people driving them.
"We have already had some people using the service since we announced it."
The HartlePower station includes two fast 24 kilowatt-hour (KWH) chargers and two normal speed 7 KWH points.
Both are free for anyone to use until the end of the year after which there will be a charge of 20p per unit which Paul said is cheaper than elsewhere in the country.
He added: “We have always had a lack of charging points in the town. This is the first station by a community company.”
Any surplus profit will be invested in creating more charging points around the town.
The scheme launched the same week that Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be phased out by 2030, as part of a 10-point ‘green industrial revolution’ plan.
The PM also announced £1.3 billion of investment to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charge points in homes, streets, and on motorways, and £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles.
The Energy Hub is a mini enterprise centre offering advice, information and resources to the towns’ voluntary and social enterprise sector as well as fledgling small businesses.
The new venture is being spearheaded by the charity arm of HartlepPower CIC (Community Interest Company) which moved into a building in Stranton formerly occupied by the charity Patch Family Support, which closed in early 2017.