New Electric Vehicle charging scheme trialled in Central Bedfordshire

• A new Central Bedfordshire Council initiative is making the charging of electric vehicles at home safer and easier for residents without off-street parking.

A pilot scheme at 20 locations across Central Bedfordshire is making owning an electric vehicle a more realistic option for residents without a drive or garage.

A specially designed cable channel, called the Gul-e, has enabled 20 residents who need to park their electric vehicles on the street outside their homes to safely connect to their electricity supply. The channel in the pavement means the charging cable between their home and car will not cause a trip or slip hazard for pedestrians.

Cllr Steve Dixon, Executive Member for Sustainability and Transformation, said, “We have all witnessed the recent unbearable hot weather that is linked to climate change, and we need to do something about it if we are to help prevent extreme weather-related events in the future.

“One way we can help is to switch from CO2 emitting petrol and diesel vehicles to environment-friendly electric vehicles, but we know there are lots of homes in Central Bedfordshire with no off-street parking and this puts them off. To solve this problem, we are piloting a new initiative that enables the charging cables to fit snugly and safely inside the pavement to make it easy for people to charge their electric vehicles at home.

“This is one of the many schemes we are rolling out on the back of our Sustainability Plan, to encourage people to think and act sustainably, so we can protect our planet.”

The cable channel has been installed at locations in Aspley Guise, Biggleswade, Brogborough, Campton, Dunstable, Fairfield, Flitwick, Henlow, Leighton Buzzard and Pulloxhill.

The pilot scheme will run until January 2023. During this time, the council will gather feedback from participants on their experiences and there has been plenty of positive feedback already.

Tristan from Leighton Buzzard said: “The Gul-e has been a big success so far. I have actually had many neighbours and passers-by making positive comments about it and asking where they can get one.”

James from Aspley Guise said: “It’s great to be able to keep the cable out of the way and not risk it as a trip hazard. When I wake up in the morning after an overnight charge, I no longer feel the urgency to unplug and move it out of people’s way as it’s safely tucked into the Gul-e.”

If the pilot scheme is successful, the council hopes to offer this as an option for other residents.

While the Gul-e will not work for everyone it does help overcome the challenges of electric vehicle ownership for households who don’t have their own off-street parking and charger. 


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