Otter Garden Centres has added to existing green credentials with the installation of car charging points at the company’s Ottery St Mary, Plymouth, Wincanton and Lymington branches.
Customers who drive electric cars will now be able to use the EV (electric vehicle) charging stations free of charge while they shop. Each station is capable of charging two vehicles.
As a company, Otter Garden Centres is committed to an environmentally friendly approach and this is the latest in a series of green initiatives undertaken.
Managing Director, Jacqui Taylor explained: “We already use biomass boilers, solar panels and rainwater harvesting and opt for biological rather than chemical pest controls in our three growing nurseries.
“Through these car charging stations, we can give something back to our customers who go the extra green mile on the road.”
Customers will be able to browse the garden centres at leisure before returning to their fully charged car and their onward journey. The four branches are to be added to a map that displays car charging point locations in the UK.
Otter Garden Centres Operations Manager, James Billington said: “It is a great way for us to reward our customers – not only for their custom but also for their shared environmental values.
“In May, plug in hybrid vehicle sales were up 72.7 per cent, full electric vehicles were up by 18.7 per cent and diesel vehicles were down by 23.6 per cent. It is a sign of the times and we are pleased to be offering this service to our customers.”
The installation was carried out by SOL Electrical. SOL, like Otter Garden Centres, is a family-run business with its headquarters in Devon. Founded in 2007 by Simon Lord, the company is at the forefront of developing EV charge point infrastructure in the South-West.
SOL Electrical Project Manager, Marie Yexley said: “We are delighted that Otter Garden Centres is providing this service for visiting EV drivers who can both use the newly installed charging facilities and enjoy all the garden centres have to offer.”
There are currently over two million electrical vehicles on the road globally, with 130,000 in the UK. This is predicted to rise to 200,000 by the end of 2018.