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UK’s first solar powered rapid electric vehicle charger installed in Poole

Borough of Poole has installed the first solar powered rapid charger for electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK.

The rapid charger, along with three standard charging points, has been installed in the Poole Civic Centre public surface car park and draws its power from the recently installed 135kWp solar installation on the roof of the adjacent multi-storey car park.
Solar powered electricity
Rapid chargers significantly enhance the convenience of electric vehicles by recharging them in less than 40 minutes, compared to the 8-12 hours of a standard charger, allowing EV users to double their range by recharging en-route and businesses to keep their electric vehicles on the road all day.

Julian McLaughlin, Head of Transportation Services, Borough of Poole, said: "This innovative scheme enables vehicles to be charged from sustainable solar electricity. During daylight hours, when the solar panels are providing sufficient electricity, vehicles get their electricity from the solar panels, only using energy from the national grid when the panels cannot meet demand."

The charging points were installed as part of a project, managed by Borough of Poole’s Transportation Services, to provide 6 rapid charger points in Poole, funded by the Department of Transport’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). The solar panels have been installed as part of Borough of Poole’s Carbon Management Programme’s work to meet Poole’s Covenant of Mayor’s targets and were funded by prudential borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board. The two projects were integrated and managed by Poole Housing Partnership (PHP).

Andrew Flockhart, Interim Chief Executive, Borough of Poole, said: “This is a great example of our staff working together to link two significant council projects, delivering innovation, savings and additional benefits for the local community. We are building a business case for further solar panel projects and will look for more opportunities to integrate electric vehicle chargers with solar panels in the future.”

Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transport, Borough of Poole, said: "Poole is leading the way in using solar power for the benefit of local people. We hope other organisations will follow our lead and install solar panels on their buildings to generate carbon free electricity."