MAJOR plans to help drivers switch to electric vehicles are set to be rolled out in York.

Ambitions include developing hyper hubs - where motorists can charge cars fast - at sites around the outer ring road and at York Hospital.

And City of York Council will look to make its own fleet of vehicles more environmentally friendly - by switching them to electric (EV) or ultra low emissions models when they need to be replaced.

Money would also be put towards maintaining existing charging points - after The Press revealed in April that more than a quarter of the city’s EV chargers were broken and one of them had been out of action for more than a year.

Plans for the first hyper hubs - at Monks Cross and Poppleton Bar Park&Ride sites - have already been submitted and the application says York wants to lead the way with providing an EV charging network.

There are ambitions for multiple hubs on the outer ring road.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne said: “Whilst we have some systems already in place to support drivers of electric vehicles this report shows that we are keen to increase and improve the availability of charge points across York.

“This report outlines some of the projects we are embarking on which will make the way people move around the city more sustainable.”

A report prepared for a council executive meeting on Thursday warns the cost of the two new hubs has risen by £700,000 because demand for EV charging technology is high.

But that building hubs is important because people living in terraced houses have nowhere to charge their cars. The report says the cost of installing on street chargers through the city would be significant because the price of putting in 50 street chargers is about £250,000.

EV campaigner Alasdair McIntosh, who has spoken at council meetings about the need for more charging infrastructure, welcomed the plans but said he was disappointed there were no plans to introduce on street charging.

He said: “The majority of [plug-in hybrid EVs] can’t be rapid charged and the small number that can would use up half their useful range driving from the terraced streets to the chargers and back. Also, almost all EVs currently on the road are not able to charge anywhere close to the speeds these chargers provide.”

“Only brand new cars over £40,000 are able to make full use of these chargers and how many of those are likely to be owned by people without on street parking?

“Essentially these hyper hubs are not that useful to any of the electric vehicles on the road at the moment. Only brand new vehicles being released this year and going forward. This is why I think the hyper hubs will be a great resource in the future.”

Under the council’s plans, the cost of charging a vehicle could be 20p/kWh and councillors will consider ways to prevent drivers from taking up EV parking spaces for longer than they need them.

And the authority will aim to replace its own fleet with more sustainable vehicles.

Cllr Paula Widdowson said: “It is important that, as a council, we do what we can to help residents live more sustainable lives. Therefore, I am pleased that efforts are being taken to make our council vehicles as sustainable as possible.”

“This means us looking at all our fleet, starting with parking services and finding the most efficient and sustainable solution.

“We have made an ambitious commitment to tackle climate change and become carbon-neutral by 2030.”