Electric vehicles

More than 60,000 low emission vehicles were sold in the UK during 2018 and their popularity is expected to grow as more people realise the benefits of ownership. Central government has published it's Road to Zero Strategy that outlines how the government will support the transition to zero emissions transport which will bring wider benefits such as improvements to local air quality.

Electric Vehicles sales

Source: next greencar - Statistics

There are a number of different types of electric vehicle technology including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, range extended and battery-electric; all are designed to reduce the negative environmental impacts of personal travel. However, for simplicity, the information on this page relates to battery electric vehicles

What the benefits of switching to an electric vehicle ?

  • Electric vehicles do not produce any exhaust pipe emissions at point of use and therefore help to contribute to improved local air quality.
  • The cost per mile for electric vehicles can be as low as a quarter of the cost of fossil fuelled equivalents.
  • Electric vehicles attract lower charges from clean air zones being implemented around the UK and the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London.
  • Electric vehicles are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
  • Electric vehicles are much quieter when travelling and therefore are considered more relaxing to drive compared to petrol or diesel vehicles.
  • Significantly lower maintenance and servicing costs due to a simple powertrain

Is an electric vehicle right for you?

Although there are numerous benefits to owning an electric vehicle, we appreciate they might not be best suited to everyone.

Ask yourself the following questions to help you pick the right electric vehicle.

1. Do I have a place to charge my car, either at home or work?

  • We recommend charging at home particularly overnight for the cheapest rate but forward thinking employers are starting to install chargers for their employees.
  • Please consider other road users when charging and ensure cables do not cause additional trip hazards. For more information please see Suffolk County Council - Electric vehicle charging policy

2. How far is my commute?

  • This will impact how often and where you need to charge your vehicle as well as the potential savings to be made.
  • Those who have longer commutes have the greatest potential to save money and emissions from switching to an EV

3. Do I regularly visit friends or family that live over 200 miles away from home?

  • Depending on the vehicle, you may have to stop for a rapid charge. These are available at most motorway service areas, alternatively, ensure you have access to a charger near or at your destination. Many hotels and attractions are installing charge points for patrons.

4. What is my budget?

  • As with petrol or diesel cars there are a variety of body shapes and price points. We encourage you to shop around for the best price.

5. Is there any support for me to purchase an electric vehicle?

Please see our Frequently asked questions in the related documents section for further information for those new to electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle charging etiquette - do's and don'ts

Do's Don'ts
  • Once you are fully charged please unplug your vehicle to allow others to charge
  • Please report any damaged or faulty chargers using contacts found at each site
  • If you are happy to, offer guidance to any other users if appropriate.
  • Do not plug in without actively charging, this will prevent others from accessing them
  • Do not force connectors into sockets which they are not designed for
  • Do not leave cables trailing on the footpath, instead, tuck them under your vehicle

Charging infrastructure

Public car parks

Some of the council’s public car parks have dedicated AC electric vehicle charging bays. Parking is free for vehicles when using and charging an electric vehicle in these bays. Users will need to register and pay for a 'Polar Account' to use the charging bays. Any non-electric vehicle or electric vehicles not charging in an EV bay may receive an Excess Charge Notice. The chargers can be found in the following car parks:

  • Ehringshausen Way, Haverhill
  • Guineas multi-storey, Newmarket
  • Parkway multi-storey, Bury St Edmunds
  • Ram Meadow, Bury St Edmunds
  • West Suffolk House – please note, this is for visitors to West Suffolk House and parking is limited to 90 minutes.

Rapid charging

In partnership with Highways England and a number of other local authorities in Norfolk and Suffolk, the council has installed a rapid AC and DC charger in School Yard East, Bury St Edmunds. For example, the rapid charger allows those with a 40kWh Nissan Leaf to charge their vehicle from 0 to 80 per cent in 40 minutes. You can use either contactless bank card, RFID card or mobile app to access the charger. Regular users may wish to sign up to E.Connect at: Swarco E.Connect

Please note, drivers must collect a free ticket allowing a maximum of two hours of free parking from the adjacent machine by pressing the yellow button. Any non-electric vehicle or electric vehicle not charging in an EV bay or not displaying a free ticket, may receive an Excess Charge Notice. Some users may experience a pre-authorisation charge.

Non-council operated

Many other organisations are installing charging facilities including pubs, hotels and employers. To see where the nearest chargers are to you check Zap-Map

Electric vehicle event - 25 August 2018

Following on from the success last year, the third West Suffolk electric vehicle event was held on Saturday 25 August 2018. The event, held in Charter Square, in the Arc Shopping Centre, featured seven vehicles from local dealerships including a pure-electric Jaguar I-Pace and Renault Zoe along with local charging network operators. The public were able to look around and inside the vehicles and get to grips with charging equipment, whilst representatives were on hand to answer any questions.

Electric vehicle event 25 August 2018

If you would like to be involved with future electric vehicle events, please contact environment@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Find out more about electric vehicles and additional support available: