Rapid charge for rural surgery



The first of two electric vehicle rapid charger units has been officially launched in Wealden.

The rapid charger – which is capable of fully charging an electric vehicle in 30 minutes – has been installed at the Herstmonceux Integrative Health Centre, a rural NHS health practice. There are now at least six publicly accessible electric vehicle charging units in Wealden District.

“People may be surprised to find an electric vehicle charger in rural communities like Herstmonceux,” said Dr John Simmons of the Health Centre.

“But there’s no reason why they should be overlooked when it comes to having the latest resources and technology.

“Having a rapid car charger at the centre of a large rural community makes owning an electric vehicle a more realistic option for all- the practice window cleaner now has an electric van!”
Sussex Air has been working with Wealden District Council and other local authorities and businesses  to set up the Energise Network of RapidCharge Points across Sussex, Surrey and Kent. There are now  some 18 Rapid Charge Points in place. The Energise Network has been helping integrate other publicly  available charge points of varying power levels to create a South East-wide charging network allowing  EV drivers to move freely across the region.

The installation of the Rapid Charge Points has been co-funded by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles  and Elektromotive. The network is being operated by Charge Your Car.

“We would hope over the coming years to be able to provide one rapid charger for every 50-100 electric  vehicles to reflect the growing number of electric vehicles on the road,” said Gary Parker, of Charge Your Car.

“One of the aims in our 2015 -19 Corporate Plan is to encourage the take up of greenenergy options,” said Councillor Barby Dashwood-Morris, chairman of Wealden District Council. “I applaud the initiative taken by the Herstmonceux Interactive Health Centre in identifying the important role green technology can play in keeping people healthy, as well as maintaining the health of our environment.”

Dr Simmons, lead practitioner at the Herstmonceux Integrative Health Centre, explains what led the practice to promote EV technology:

“When the Centre was built in 2014, the vision behind this project was to create a sustainable building in which to deliver sustainable NHS health care in a bright and calm environment for patients and staff alike.

“Transport is crucial to a rural practice like ours, with many elderly and isolated patients.  We had always wanted to create a patient transport facility to connect people with their community in an environmentally sustainable way.

“Electric vehicles were the obvious choice when it came to providing transport  for patients to and from the surgery, so being able to host the Electric Vehicle Rapid charger has made our plans a reality.  At a running cost of 2p – 3p per mile, it makes the whole process affordable.  The popularity of the charger is proven in the figures. Since the charger was commissioned at the end of July we have had 77 cars charged at the rapid charger.”

“A collective approach to sustainability makes the future much brighter.”

Other electric vehicle charging units in Wealden are located at Selmeston (rapid charger), Hailsham, Uckfield, Crowborough and Forest Row.

Rapid charging units provide a 50kW charge, whereas other charging units provide  3, 7 or 22 kW charge. The Energise Network includes 18 rapid charging units across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, and over 80 other chargers in locations offering 3-7kW charging.




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