A CHARGING point for electrical vehicles could soon be introduced in Basingstoke town centre.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has applied for planning permission to install an electric vehicle rapid charger unit at Central car park, in Red Lion Lane, for electrical vehicles.

If the plan is approved, one car parking space will be lost to accommodate the charging unit which can fully charge an electrical vehicle in just 30 minutes.

A bid for Government funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles was successful and as a result, 75 per cent of the cost of installing the electric vehicle rapid charger will be paid for by the Government. The remaining 25 per cent will be paid for by the Nissan Consortium.

The application says: “The electric vehicle rapid charger is considered a key piece of infrastructure that will be a unique selling point for Basingstoke Town Centre, whilst encouraging the take up of electric vehicles in the local area and enabling the launch of the borough’s first 100 per cent electric private hire vehicle.”

Robert Sharpe, managing director of Evergreen Consulting, has been working closely with the borough council to introduce the first electric-powered taxi in Basingstoke.

He welcomed the news, telling The Gazette: “It is brilliant news and it means we will be able to run the first electric taxi in Hampshire from Basingstoke.

“The charger will allow people to do 160 miles a day and save £5,000 a year in fuel bills for taxi drivers.”