ELECTRIC car users across Basingstoke will be asked to make a small contribution to use a new electric charging point in the town centre.

As previously reported by The Gazette, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council gave the go-ahead to the scheme after the local authority applied for planning permission to install a new electric vehicle rapid charger unit at Central Car Park, in Red Lion Lane, for electric vehicles.

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

The charging unit can charge an electric vehicle by 80 per cent in just 30 minutes and is just one of 100 rapid chargers available nationwide.

Other charging points surrounding the borough are at the Little Chef, in Popham on the A303 westbound and at Fleet Services on the M3.

Councillor Hayley Eachus, Cabinet member for community services and the environment, has now given the green light to the price that people will be charged to use the point.

A fee of 20 pence per minute will be set with a minimum charge of £2 and a maximum charge of £6 – which will allow vehicles to charge for 30 minutes – to allow the borough council to cover the cost of providing the facility.

However, motorists wanting to charge their vehicles at the charging point will need to download an app on their smartphones and set up an account with the company managing the point, Charge Your Car.

Cllr Eachus said: “The recent installation of the electric vehicle charging point in Central Car Park supports the aims and objectives of our adopted Climate Change Strategy, and will encourage borough residents and workers to use greener forms of transport and reduce their carbon emissions.

“This will also assist in attracting visitors to come to the town, since they will be able to charge their cars whilst using the town centre facilities.”

The charging point will be available to use from the end of January.