MORE chargers are being built in Oxfordshire to meet the growing demand for battery-powered cars.

Just this month, work has begun to convert 12 parking bays in Bicester’s Cattle Market car park into an electric vehicle charging hub.

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This is the first step in a £5.2 million programme called Park and Charge Oxfordshire, to prepare the county as more and more people switch to electric-powered cars over fossil fuel vehicles.

The scheme is among the first of its kind in the UK and is being rolled out by a group of companies and council including Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.

Herald Series: Artist’s impressions of what the Park and Charge site in the Cattle Market car park site in Bicester will look likeArtist’s impressions of what the Park and Charge site in the Cattle Market car park site in Bicester will look like

The rollout comes just as Boris Johnson has announced a 10-point plan for the environment, which includes a move to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by the year 2030.

Industry leaders had already prepared for new fossil fuel emitting vehicles to be stopped by 2035, but now the deadline has moved forward.

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In Oxfordshire, an estimated 25,000 battery electric vehicles will be driven on the county's roads by 2025.

To meet with this demand, a total of 23 car parks have been selected for the charging project in the county, including in Kidlington, Banbury and Bicester.

These are due to see upgrades in 2021.

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Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “From a climate emergency and air quality point of view, electric vehicles are the future of motoring.

"Many people want to switch to them but are put off by the difficulties involved in charging them if they don’t have off-street parking."

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She added: "That is why we are so excited by the park and charge project and the opportunity it will give so many people around the county to go electric. We are committed to going carbon neutral as an authority by 2030 and this is helping the county, as a whole, to go zero-carbon by 2050.”