Electric vehicles

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Electric VehicleElectric vehicles (EVs), including ‘pure EVs’ (which run solely on batteries) and ‘plug-in Hybrid EVs’ (which also have a diesel or petrol engine), provide a number of financial and environmental benefits over conventional petrol or diesel powered vehicles. The advantages of pure EVs include that they:
  • Produce one half to one third of the greenhouse gas emissions of a comparable combustion engine over their life cycle 
  • Release no air pollution to the place where they are operated
  • Drive smoother and are less noisy 
  • Do not consume energy when they are stationary
  • Can be fully charged for just £2-3 and will give a typical range of 100 miles (driving the same distance on petrol or diesel would cost £12-18)
  • Are exempt from paying Road Tax
  • Are exempt from the London Congestion Charge
  • Are eligible for free or reduced parking in some areas 
  • Have fewer mechanical components so servicing and maintenance costs may be lower
  • Are eligible for Government grants to assist with initial purchase costs.
Plug in Hybrid EVs, although still using diesel or petrol, are much more efficient than their conventional counterparts. They also have the ability to be charged directly from charging points and can be driven like an electric car, with the added advantage of having an on-board engine when the battery is depleted.

EV charging points in the District

Charging points are available at the following locations in the St Albans district:

Owned and managed by Herts County Council - on the POLAR network
  • London Road, St Albans (outside Morrisons Local) 
  • Charter Close, St Albans (opposite multistorey car park, outside park)
  • Upper Dagnall Street, St Albans (on the other side of the road from the White Swan Public House and slightly down the hill)
  • Hall Place Gardens, St Albans (opposite house numbers 1-5)
  • Bowers Way car park, Harpenden
Owned and Managed by other parties
  • Waitrose car park, Mayne Avenue, St Albans
  • St Albans City Rail Station
  • Glyn Hopkin, Lyon Way, St Albans
  • Toyota, Radlett Road, Frogmore
If you would like to use any of the Herts County Council owned charging posts (1st list) you will need to register on the Chargemaster POLAR website to obtain a card to operate the posts for at least the next 12 months. If you were previously registered with SourceEast (the previous operator) you will be able to transfer your membership for free for the first 3 months. 

The ‘pay to use’ tariffs operated by Chargemaster are: £0.09p per kWh and monthly membership of £7.85 per month. 

To report a fault please contact Chargemaster: 
  • Tel: 0330 016 5126 (8:30am - 5:30pm. Any calls outside of these times are for emergency or safety issues only)
  • Email: info@polarnetwork.com

Grants and subsidies for EVs and charging points

The Government provide a grant to help with the higher initial costs of electric vehicles. The Plug-in Vehicle Grant provides a subsidy of:
  • 35%, up to £5,000, towards the cost of an electric car
  • 20%, up to £8,000, towards the cost of an electric van (under 3.5 tonnes)
The Department for Transport's website has a list of eligible cars and vans. The grant is automatically deducted from the retail price when an eligible vehicle is purchased, so there is no additional paperwork to complete, and you don't pay the full retail price upfront and then have to reclaim the benefit.

There are also a number of grants available for the installation of EV charging points from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme is intended specifically to assist households wishing to install charging points. Eligible households may receive up to 75% of the upfront costs of purchase and installation covered (capped at £700, inc. VAT).

Support for businesses

Small and medium-sized enterprises can access grants of up to 25% of the cost of installing EV charging points. For more information please visit the Evalu8 website.

Date of last review: 08 June 2017