Electric cars will have more chance to plug in across North Dorset

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FOUR council car parks in North Dorset are to get electric car charging points, which will nearly double provision across the region.

With electric cars now accounting for three per cent of all new cars, a figure expected to rise sharply, there has been slow progress in installing charging points.

But with cabling and installation costing up to £50,000 per unit, it is perhaps no surprise that commercial businesses have not rushed to install – instead waiting for prices to tumble in future, when demand is higher. Dorset Council will install the units in Bell Street car park in Shaftesbury; Gas Lane car park in Gillingham and in two Sherborne car parks, Coldharbour and Old Market Yard. Each unit carries two charging points.

Until now, there have only been charging points installed in six North Dorset locations north of Sturminster Newton: in Shaftesbury (Tesco, Kings Arms); Gillingham (Asda); Milborne Port car park; Oborn (Best Western) and Gutchpool Farm B&B.

There is no charging point for 18 miles between Shaftesbury and Milborne Port on the A30, although an installation is being considered at Riverside Garage at West Stour, six miles west of Shaftesbury. The garage is planning a complete rebuild and extension and has drafted plans to Dorset Council to include the possibility of including a charging point. “It’s a tough call,” said co- owner Seb Hawtree.
“We’ve been told it can cost £50k partly because of the cabling that will have to be laid in. Electric cars are on the rise – but how many will be bought locally?

“Is there a case to outlay now, or wait until initial costs tumble? There has to be a business case to buy now.”

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