The roll-out of electric vehicle charging points across the region has been given a boost after more than £700,000 was secured to expand the scheme.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen welcomed the £720,000 from Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, which will help support the creation of public charging points to support residents without off-street parking.
The news comes after the Mayor announced £2million to deliver 145 chargers in 32 public car parks the length and breadth of the Tees Valley, boosting their numbers by 75% to 336.
This additional funding will allow for a greater number of chargers in 20 of the car parks selected, those in closer proximity to residential areas, and stretch the original funding across the wider region.
EB Charging Ltd has been procured to supply, operate and maintain the points, which will make it even easier for local people with electric cars to charge them while out and about, and encourage more drivers to switch from traditional petrol or diesel vehicles to the cleaner alternative.
Work to install the first of these is set to kick off in May, starting a rolling programme which will see the first points operational this summer.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Decarbonising transport is vital if we are going to meet our net zero ambitions, but to do that we have to make it as easy and practical as possible for people to switch to low carbon alternatives like electric vehicles.
“In the past, electric car owners had been left behind with a massive lack of charging points, and the few that did exist were either inconvenient, hard to access or frequently broken down. That’s why, late last year, I signed off on £2million to boost their numbers and almost double the amount across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“This extra £720,000 will give an even bigger boost to our already extensive plans for the network, providing more reliable, accessible points right across the region and encourage even more people to make the switch.”
Cllr Heather Scott, Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Transport, said: “The Tees Valley is once again leading the way in embracing new technology to help us meet ambitious decarbonisation targets while continuing to support a reliable and comprehensive transport network for residents and commuters.
“The additional funding for on-street EV charging points is to be welcomed and will further boost initiatives already under way to provide a comprehensive network of charging points around the region, which I hope will give drivers the confidence to consider low-carbon options in future.”
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “It’s brilliant to see Tees Valley leading the way in trialling innovative new technology, allowing residents to travel in a way which is kinder to our environment as we drive towards our net-zero goals.
“This Government backed the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub last year with £3m in funding for hydrogen technologies.
“I am pleased the area is also benefitting from our On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme to boost the provision of public EV chargepoints, making it easier for drivers to make the important switch to greener vehicles.”