A COSTLY plan to combat West Oxfordshire's 'poor' infrastructure for electric cars is expected to be press ahead today.

There are thought to be just three publicly-accessible electric vehicle charging points across the district, none of which are overseen by West Oxfordshire District Council.

The authority's cabinet is due to pass a proposal at a meeting today, outlining three potential schemes for installing more points - one of which would cost £1m.

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A report compiled for councillors ahead of the meeting said: "The council currently has no electric vehicle charging points in its public car parks, or at its operational depots.

"The provision of points across the district is poor and the council wishes to support the development of infrastructure to encourage the use of more sustainable transport.

"Installation of charging points will enable residents to have the confidence to invest in electric cars and increase the uptake in the district."

The council declared a climate emergency in July, pledging to prioritise environmental sustainability.

Counterparts in neighbouring parts of Oxfordshire, particularly Oxford, have been quicker to introduce electric vehicle technology.

The city is home to scores of charging points, including at seven car parks run by Oxford City Council, and is also pioneering use of pop-up bollard chargers for on-street parking.

According to zap-map.com, which lists locations of electric charging points, there are just eight electric charging points in West Oxfordshire, few of which are publicly-accessible.

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Just two are in Witney - one in Church Green and one in Manor Road, but neither is listed for public use.

The nearest public charging points listed are at BP on the A40 in Cassington, the Heythrop Park Resort or the Killingworth Castle at Wootton.

The Artist Residence Oxfordshire hotel in South Leigh, above the Mason Arms pub, also has a charging point for customers.

Restricted use points shown on the map in West Oxfordshire include at Micklands Hill Farm in Bledington, The Kingham Plough in Kingham, the Co-Op in Chipping Norton and Soho Farmhouse in Great Tew.

The council set aside £250,000 in 2018/19 and a further £150,000 per year for the next 10 years for the chargers.

It started the procurement process in 2017, in partnership with Cotswold District Council to cut costs.

It has now shortlisted contractors for three potential delivery schemes, the first of which would cost around £1m and would generate income from motorists' use.

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The second would cost about £740,000 and the council would share some of the income from use, while the third would cost nothing for the council but would not result in any income for the authority either.

At their meeting from 2pm today, at the Woodgreen offices, councillors have been recommended to assign the three options to potential contractors and invite them to pitch their plans.

The council's cabinet will assess the proposals at a later date to allocate funding and award contracts.

Government funding has been announced for electric vehicle charging points, but it is not yet clear if the council will be able to access any.

With the government's vision that all new cars and vans will be 'effectively zero emission' by 2040, there is pressure to encourage use of electric cars.

According to a Liberal Democrats Freedom of Information request in March, Cherwell and Vale of White Horse district councils also had not installed any electric charging points.

West Oxfordshire did not respond to the request, the party said.

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