Lancaster based community benefit society Charge My Street is offering to install free electric vehicle charge points throughout the county.
Working with a range of local and national partners, the organisation is aiming to identify 100 suitable charging sites across Lancashire and Cumbria in a programme funded by Innovate UK.
Electric vehicle charging points allow retail and hospitality businesses such as cafes, pubs, shops and hotels an added appeal for visitors driving electric cars.
Interested business can apply for a free chargepoint to be installed by visiting the Charge My Street website.
Daniel Heery, from Charge My Street, said: “This is an opportunity for businesses to get ahead of the competition and install a charging site early, with an advantage over other sites when EV drivers are planning their lunch stops or booking their holiday accommodation.
“When drivers are charging their car, they are far more likely to spend an hour in a café or shop while they wait, and businesses can use this opportunity to attract more customers to spend money locally.
“Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular, meaning that thousands of people every minute are planning where to charge their vehicle.”
Some businesses in Lancashire are already working with Charge My Street to install chargepoints and benefit from attracting new customers.
Yvonne Brown, who runs The Dog Inn at Belthorn near Blackburn, is already working towards hosting a new site. She said: “We are keen to work with Charge My Street to get some electric vehicle chargepoints, as we believe this will provide a really useful service for our customers, but also for some local residents who may not have the opportunity of getting chargepoints near to their homes.
“We hope this will become another service that we can offer, and as a community owned pub, it is important to us to help to serve our community.”
Sales of electric vehicles doubled in 2020 and over 175,000 battery powered cars are currently licensed in the UK. Ownership of electric vehicles is expected to soar over the next 10 years, with the government banning the sales of petrol and diesel cars from 2030.
Installation of the charging points is funded through community share offers run by Charge My Street, meaning no installation fee and no ongoing costs for businesses.
To be considered to host an electric vehicle charging site, applicants must own the land they want to use, have adjoining spaces for at least two cars to park and charge, have good mobile data coverage or broadband signal and be accessible to the public overnight.
Installation is carried out by Bay Camera and Communications and the chargepoint is owned by Charge My Street.
The host business is not charged for any electricity consumed; this will be dealt with by invoicing Charge My Street, who will bear this cost and take responsibility for the maintenance of the chargepoint.
For more details on the scheme, and to apply to host a free chargepoint, business owners can visit www.chargemystreet.co.uk/host