April 15, 2024

A Denbighshire electric vehicle (EV) charging hub is giving a helping hand to local businesses working to switch to greener modes of transport.

In early December 2022, Rhyl’s West Kinmel car park charging hub went live.

Funded by the Welsh Government and with capacity for 36 vehicles, the creation of the hub followed the installation of chargers at King’s Avenue car in Prestatyn.

The facility provides a mix of ‘fast’ 7kwh chargers for local residents who have no access to off street parking and ‘rapid’ 50kw chargers for a quick charge top up and also to help local transport orientated firms with the uptake of electric vehicles by minimising disruption to operational work time.

Luke Packer of A&J Taxis, established in 1996, explained the charging hub has given more support to the business’s drive to provide greener transport in Rhyl and the surrounding area.

“We have the largest selection of EV and Hybrid vehicles in the area. One hundred percent electric accessible vehicles, one hundred percent electric executive vehicles, multiple Hybrids. We are now purchasing our second generation of electric cars.”

“The new charging park provides us with the ability to rapid charge during the working day, allowing us to keep the batteries topped up so we are always ready to go.

As well as the support for businesses, Luke explains the hub has an all-round use for the local Rhyl community.

He added: “For those without home driveways this provides their charging solution, for those using our trains this provides a charging solution for them when they depart for the day.

“The hub provides benefits to those who need to both slow charge (leave for the day or night) and also those who need to rapid charge…us, delivery drivers and other taxis for example.”

Guto Lloyd-Davies, Director of gwasg print, believes the hub is a boost for both businesses wishing to reduce their carbon footprint and general town footfall.

Trading since 1974 as a family business with Guto and his wife running it for the last 12 years, the Rhyl printers has become a firm beacon for sustainability.

The business’s climate friendly initiatives include paper and card sourced only from suppliers dealing with managed, sustainable forests, PV panels installed on site to generate electricity, since 2001 all waste paper, card, cardboard, metal and plastic waste is recycled with Denbighshire County Council and from 2018 they have used a Nissan Leaf 100% electric car – and in 2021 added a Skoda Enyaq iV60 100% electric vehicle.

He said: “My wife and I own gwasg print, a general print and design company, which has been trading in the town centre since 1974. Mum and dad started the business and I grew up above our old shop on Kinmel Street. For the last 12 years we have owned the business and we’re busier than ever.

The duo made the move to EV to support the environment and also make use of the cost savings it provides.

Guto explained: “We sold our old VW diesel van back in August 2018 and got our first EV, the Nissan Leaf). I wanted to make the move for eco reasons… but the financials were a no-brainer.

“In 2021 we got a Skoda Enyaq so now run two EVs on the business. I’m always quick to stress the convenience of EVs – our cars charge overnight at home most of the time, and now we can easily top up in charging stops such as the West Kinmel Street hub.

Looking ahead in to the future, the family business owner feels having the hub on the doorstep will also give other businesses a boost

He added: “As the hub is such a draw to anyone visiting the town, it’s already made the West Kinmel Street car park busier… and is bound to get busier as take up of EVs continues. Anyone using the slower chargers is going to go for a walk, grab a coffee, bite or go shopping while their vehicles charge so increased footfall has to be good!”

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport explained the hub offers support for businesses in the surrounding area to take a step towards operating greener transport.

He said: “It is great to see how this facility is helping local taxi firms like A&J taxis advance towards running a greener fleet, our drive towards lowering the carbon footprint of Denbighshire includes helping businesses and the hub is taking a role in that.

“You look at the West Kinmel car park hub…it has a strong multi-purpose role for giving more support to the businesses of Rhyl and the town’s attractions. There are opportunities for businesses to invest in greener vehicles and charge them here without having to worry about installing chargers at their sites.

“There’s also great opportunities for local businesses in the form of how this site can support the town’s footfall, as people charging their vehicles here can make use of the shops and establishments that are right on the doorstep of the hub and I encourage them to visit Rhyl while they do so.”