CUMBRIA looks set to benefit from 14 rapid charging points for electric vehicles and hybrids after a lengthy delay. A contract to install and maintain EV charging points across the region has been awarded to the Middlesex-based firm APT Control Group, who will fit 24 charging points at 15 sites around the county. 

APT has been installing its Evolt chargers across the country through its specialist division APT Technologies since 2010, and will be installing 10 “rapid” and 14 “fast” chargers across the region. 

While details on the timescale or exact sites to be used have not been revealed yet, an announcement is expected within days. 

Cumbria has long been considered a black hole for EV charging, with only a handful of public chargers available, meaning sales of the vehicles have suffered in the region. 

Deadline In February 2014 Cumbria County Council was awarded a £562,500 grant by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to install the infrastructure, with an initial deadline of December 2014. 

This was then pushed back, with a new deadline of December 28, 2015 being set. Tenders to install the chargers were to be submitted by September 7, but this deadline was also extended until September 28. 

The news that the contract has been awarded will come as a relief to EV owners in the county, who have previously had to rely on charging at home, and strategically planning any long journeys to ensure they don’t run out of charge mid-journey. 

The rapid chargers in particular will be a huge boost as they can fully charge a vehicle in as little as 30 minutes. Currently the only rapid chargers available in the county are at the Southwaite, Tebay and Killington services on the M6.