Hundreds of electric car owners have taken advantage of the rapid charge point outside the Town Hall since it was installed two years ago.
The rapid point, which fully charges an electric car in just 30 minutes, was installed next to the Civic Hall in July 2015. Since then, 653 cars have been charged, with the number growing very quickly.
Between August and December 2015, 53 electric cars were charged at the rapid point. For all of 2016, 147 cars were charged but 2017 has seen a marked increase in the number of cars being charged, with 453 between January and June 2017.
The total of 653 is the third highest of 17 rapid charging points in the south east Energise Network. The Energise Network was developed through Government grant funding under the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
To charge an electric car at a rapid charger the driver must sign up to the Energise Network for free. The driver receives a card which is swiped at the charger before charging begins. A 10-minute charge costs £3.50 and then it costs 25p per minute, which is eight to 10 times cheaper than a full tank of petrol or diesel.
Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said: “These usage figures are really encouraging and their impressive growth reflects the fast-growing market for electric vehicles.
“Installing this rapid charger on the Town Hall site two years ago demonstrated our commitment to reducing the town’s carbon footprint. I’m delighted that more and more motorists are making use of the charger.”
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “As a council, we are committed to doing everything we can to promote environmental sustainability and improve air quality.
“Providing charging points at the Town Hall is just one of the ways we’re working to make Crawley a cleaner, greener place to live.”
In 2012, the Town Hall became the first place in Crawley to have electric charging points. Two slower charge points, which are located to the side of the Civic Hall, take around four hours to fully charge and are available to use free of charge.