Oxford’s electric car capital of Europe plans are stalled

Oxford’s electric car capital of Europe plans are stalled

Norman Baker stated in May 2012, that Oxford’s plans to try and revolutionise travel for the electric car within the city, were rather ambitious. It was originally supposed to become the electric car capital of Europe, with the installation of over 100 charging points throughout the city, through becoming partners with Chargemaster, a private company.

Customers would pay £50 annually for the electric car charging points

Customers would annually pay £50 for the use of charging points in Oxford, Hillingdon, Milton Keynes. There were originally plans for Hertz a car rental company to set up a fleet of electric cars that could be rented hourly, electric car clubs where people could share their vehicles were to be set up.

One year on however, the plans have been stalled. The number of electric car charging points is still at 64, with no sign of the 50 extra charging points. The charge points in Oxford City were used just 79 times between June of 2011 and December of 2012. One Heddington charging point was not used once.

The idea to share electric cars was also not taken forward

The Hertz fleet of electric vehicle plans to hire hourly was also not taken forward, due to what the company called operational problems.

According to a spokesperson from Low Carbon Oxford North, who is extremely keen to set up the share club for electric cars, there are actually no dedicated parking spaces so that people are able to charge their electric car.

John Tanner, Councillor explained that it was still the aim of Oxford City Council to be the electric vehicle capital of Europe, though keeping specific parking spaces empty for users of electric vehicles would cost around £35,000 per year. He went on to say that the council would be happy to make spaces available if there were cars that would be using them, though it is not ideal to have car parking spaces empty just in case an electric car driver wants to charge their vehicle and then have regular car uses waiting to park outside.