First rapid electric taxi charging point now ready for use in Kent as rollout begins

Image credit: Kent County Council

The first of many new taxi and private hire rapid electric vehicle charging points has been installed in Kent and is now ready for use in Thanet.

The site is the first of 28 new charging points for use by taxis and the general public offering charging speeds of up to 50kwh – seven times faster than a typical home charger.

Each new site will have a bay solely for taxi and private hire operators and a second bay for public use.

Future sites in Canterbury, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Swale, and Tunbridge Wells will come into operation over the next few months.

Kent County Council (KCC) was awarded £180,000 from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to install the rapid chargers and has been working with district and borough councils to get them installed.

KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Michael Payne, said: “As we are committed to helping business shift towards electric vehicles, I’m delighted to see these charging points being installed, giving KCC another opportunity to act and help taxi firms switch to electric vehicles thereby reducing carbon emissions and traffic noise as well as improving air quality, which is a major concern for us all in Kent."

KCC Cabinet Member for the Environment, Susan Carey, said: “We’re committed to improving the charging infrastructure and encouraging a shift towards low-emission vehicles.

“We’re currently working with our parish council partners to install chargers in smaller communities and have appointed Connected Kerb to carry out this work. Installations will begin at the start of 2021.

“Additionally we are developing a project to create a Kent wide EV charger network with our district and borough council partners.

Image credit: Kent County Council

“To date over 150 car park locations have been put forward for consideration and we’re hoping around 300 chargers will be installed by end of 2022.”

Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council, said: “It’s extremely positive that these new charging points have been installed in Thanet as we continue to take practical steps to help reduce pollution and reliance on fossil fuels in the district.

“Having declared a climate emergency in July 2019, initiatives like these are a key priority for us.”

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