In 2019, Dorset Council was looking to replace a handful of pre-existing rapid chargers and began an open conversation with us about what we could do to help offer residents and businesses a cleaner, greener way to travel in Dorset.
The local authority wanted to take steps towards their ambition to become a carbon-neutral Council by 2040 at the latest, with the whole of the county being carbon neutral by 2050. They were also keen to accelerate several actions in their Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy Action Plan and as part of this, we discussed more widespread electric vehicle charge points in public car parks, supporting the transition to electric vehicles.
Making it feasible
Through the Central Southern Regional Framework, we have several funding approaches we offer, tailored to local authority requirements.
One of those is a fully funded installation and management solution for electric vehicle charge points in public sites, with our funding partners Grønn Kontakt. It’s a great way for local authorities to roll out EV charging infrastructure at zero capital cost and in this case, the first step for us was to carry out a large feasibility study across 115 public car park sites and several Council offices in Dorset.
During the process, full pricing and site designs were put together and we agreed, with Dorset Council, which sites to take forward.
Working together to go electric
After several months of planning, conversation and collaboration, we began installing ‘phase one’ of this landmark project, which will cover 17 public car parks across the county including Blandford Forum, Dorchester, Gillingham, Lyme Regis, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Verwood, West Bay, Weymouth and Wimborne Minster.
The fast (22kW) charge points being installed are supplied with 100% renewable energy and mean drivers can charge their electric vehicles while visiting the county’s towns. A quick top-up (a charge of 15 minutes) enables a journey of about 15 miles, or a full charge will take 2-4 hours, depending on the vehicle. All charge points can be accessed through the Grønn Kontakt charging portal and app.
It’s been great working in partnership with the Dorset Council team to make this happen and as they say,
“Working with Joju is a pleasure. Their can-do attitude to problem-solving is refreshing and undoubtedly part of the reason why Dorset’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure programme has been such a success. They have a real understanding of how local authorities work and have demonstrated a genuine willingness to accommodate Dorset’s charging infrastructure needs, for the benefit of both residents and visitors”.
At the recent launch of the first phase one sites, Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, also commented:
“Dorset has an important role to play in helping to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. The government plans to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, so it is important drivers are offered more sustainable travel options now.
We are grateful to Joju Charging and their partners Grønn Kontakt for funding both the installation and management of this scheme and for their enthusiasm and hard work in getting us to this stage.”
The feedback is fantastic to hear.
Future installs in Dorset
We’re excited to be rolling out Phase 2 of this project during the remainder of 2021. It will include the install of electric vehicle charge points in approximately another 30 sites around the county. The pre-existing rapids will also be replaced and as the team at Dorset Council say,
“Residents and visitors to Dorset are already demanding more charge points. Going forward we are confident that Joju can help the council meet those demands”.
Here’s to the further roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help Dorset move to a low-carbon future and to make travelling in the county cleaner and greener.