The Yorkshire Dales National Park, which has been branded a no-go zone by some electric car drivers, is set to install charge points at tourist hotspots.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s move follows a surge in demand for electric vehicles in the UK over the last four years, with new registrations of plug-in cars increasing from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 162,000 last month.
While industry experts have forecast there will be one million electric cars on UK roads within four years and that there are now 17,000 charge points in the country, the authority’s finance and resources committee heard there was only one public ‘fast’ charger in the national park, at the southern gateway, Bolton Abbey.
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Members were told the Government was aiming to impose an outright ban on internal combustion engines by 2040.
An officers’ report to the committee stated: “We have already had some correspondence from electric car users who say they cannot visit because of the lack of charge points.”
The report stated a charging network would enable the authority to meet demand, provide a facility for visitors and residents and encourage more people to explore the park and venture into areas further from towns.
To test the viability of the charging points, members agreed to initially spend £16,000 installing three in car parks at Hawes, Aysgarth Falls and Grassington.
The scheme comes as neighbouring authorities including Hambleton and Craven district councils, are also introducing numerous charging points.
The authority’s chairman, Carl Lis, said: “The ideal place for charging points is car parks. It’s something you can’t do at a petrol station. Even with a super booster charger it takes 30 minutes.”
However, after the meeting was told the charging point payment system would require an internet connection, concerns were raised about online blackspots in the Dales leaving people unable to pay.
Officers said it would be at least a year before a non-online payment method was introduced.