ELECTRIC car users will now be able to charge their cars in the town centre after Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council installed a new charging point.

As previously reported by The Gazette, the 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.

Two spaces in the car park have been allocated for the rapid charger which can charge an electric vehicle by 80 per cent in just 30 minutes.

There are only 100 rapid chargers available nationwide. The other charging points around the borough are located at the Little Chef, in Popham on the A303 westbound and at Fleet Services on the M3.

The charging point is a type four charger, which is suitable for most electric vehicles, including Nissan, Citroen, Peugeot and Mitsubishi models.

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.

The council’s Cabinet member for community services and the environment, Councillor Hayley Eachus, said: “This new charging point is ideal for people driving into the town to shop and charge their car quickly before leaving the car park.

“Savings can be made by switching to an electric car, and to have one of only one hundred rapid chargers here in Basingstoke should make residents consider this option seriously.”

For more information on how to use the charging point visit the Charge Your Car website at www.chargeyourcar.org.uk