A BUSINESS park in South Oxfordshire has plugged into the growing demand from companies using electric vehicles.

Chalgrove’s Monument Park has installed its first electric vehicle charging station.

Rhonda Leighton, of business park owners Jennings, said: “We know there’s growing demand for electric vehicles, but a lack of charging points is holding people back from using them in their business.

“Now it is easy for anyone here to plug in their car while they are working, saving carbon emissions in the process.”

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Martin Loveridge, co-owner of 3PL Real Estate at Monument Business Park, was one of the first to use the facility for his all-electric Tesla. “Up to now, I have had to charge my car at home or at the nearest Tesla charging point which is miles away from here, so this gives me so much more flexibility.”

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Renault Zoe car owner David Gruar, of NewOrbit, said: “I’m delighted to see another addition to the charging network, and it’s great that I’ll be able to top up at work when I need to.

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“One of the biggest issues for EV drivers is the lack of destination charging – if you’re doing a long journey it’s a huge help if you can plug in when you arrive. I hope having a chargepoint on the park will help persuade workers and visitors that going electric is a viable option.”

In only five years the number of new electric cars registered each year in the UK has leapt from 6,000 to 60,000 a year.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders the first business users of electric vehicles were mostly fleet owners, but now small businesses also want low CO2 or emissions-free free travel too.

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Ms Leighton has worked on the project for a year as part of the company’s growing emphasis on environmental and sustainable business.

She said the charging station was the latest in a series of green initiatives at Monument Park which already has its own large solar array.

Ms Leighton added: “We want to make it easier for SMEs on the park to reduce their carbon emissions and the installation of the EV charging points is an important milestone for us.

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“Jennings are the first company to partner with the energy company Centrica to install their Smart charging system.

“It can be used by all electric vehicles and drivers can access its payment system through a simple downloadable app. It will even show users how much atmospheric CO2 they have saved.”

Andreas Atkins, head of Electric Vehicle Strategy for Property at Centrica said: “We’re delighted to support Jennings with their efforts to support the growth of electric vehicles by giving their customers access to onsite charging.

“We’ve estimated that the total cost of owning an electric vehicle vs a petrol or diesel car will reach a tipping point by 2025 so it won’t be long before going electric is better for your pocket and for the planet.”

Monument Park in Chalgrove is home to over 80 businesses employing more than 600 people and the site was once a base for the United States air force.

It has a wide variety of units, to suit firms just starting out or needing something bigger.

There are also a number of electric vehicle charging points at Milton Park near Didcot.

The charging points are spread out across the business park, at the innovation centre, The Gym, Innovation Drive and at the Park Centre.

Four new points were added in 2017 and two electric cars can be charged in each area at any time.