COUNCILS are hoping to encourage a take-up in electric vehicles (EV) by fitting new charging points in car parks across Gwent.

Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly are preparing a joint funding bid for 73 charge points across 33 sites.

The Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is allowing applications from authorities for a slice of £2.5 million to improve their green transport offer.

A Torfaen council report says: “The funding aims to address barriers to EV take-up caused by plug-in vehicle owners having no dedicated off-street parking – no drive way or garage – to charge an EV.

“They are keen to receive applications for charge points in local authority car parks that are suitably located in or near a residential area and provides an option for local residents looking to charge their car both during the day and overnight.”

In December 2018, the five regional councils secured £28,000 to fund a study into identifying potential sites in their respective areas.

Only Torfaen has revealed their proposed sites, which are as follows:

  • Broad Street Car Park, Blaenavon
  • Trosnant Street Lower Car Park, Pontypool
  • Clarence Place Car Park, Pontypool
  • Station Road, Griffithstown
  • Pontnewydd Neighbourhood Centre, Cwmbran
  • Llanyrafon Car Park, Cwmbran
  • Fairwater Square Neighbourhood Centre, Cwmbran
  • Abersychan Neighbourhood Centre, Cwmbran

If their application is successful, the Gwent authorities could secure £459,000 of the estimated £636,000 outlay through OLEV.

Up to £7,500 per EV charge point, or 75 per cent of installation costs, will be covered by the cross-governmental body.

Each council will also be required to contribute match funding dependent on the number of sites EV charge points proposed, with Torfaen expected to pay £30,000 for its eight sites.

The report continues: “Sites were selected using the OLEV funding criteria, feedback from public consultation and from key officers.

“The OLEV criteria includes demonstrating demand, lack of off-street parking and accessibility to residents.”

The whole project needs to be completed by March 30 2020, and funding can only be claimed once the charge-points are in the ground.

But there is no guarantee that the Gwent councils will secure the funding, and the project would not go ahead if their application is unsuccessful.

The report adds that there is a risk the installation costs could rise over time, or that the charge-points could not be used at all.

Torfaen council’s executive member for resources, Cllr Kelly Preston, will consider the report on Wednesday July 24.