ESSEX County Council has said it is prepared to go into partnership with major car manufacturers to help increase the number of electric vehicle charging points across the county.

The Essex Climate Action Commission, which was set up by the county council to draw up a set of carbon net zero ambitions, says a target of Essex having 196,000 electric cars by 2030 is an “achievable goal”.

But this would mean increasing the numbers of vehicles significantly.

Of the 912,255 cars and large goods vehicles in Essex in 2020, just 5,970 were plug-ins.

There are currently only 60 public charging points in the county which is below the national average.

Essex has made some positive moves to increase the viability of electric vehicles and Braintree is now home to the UK’s first private developer’s electronic charging station.

In addition, many organisations - including Essex County Council and Essex Police - are introducing electric vehicles into fleets this year.

But more needs to be done to facilitate more people willing to buy one as the latest available vehicle licensing figures show Essex has a low take up compared to similar county councils and the overall England figure.

Councillor Lee Scott, who is the council’s Cabinet member for highways maintenance and sustainable transport, said to encourage more electric vehicle sales he was prepared to negotiate with major car manufactures to get more charging points in place.

He told the place services and economic growth policy and scrutiny committee at the county council: “If I was to say to the committee that your division can have 30 EV charging points at positions that are thought through and in the right positions and they are done in partnership or indeed paid for with say AN Other car manufacturer, does anyone think that one resident using that could have a concern this is a community project sponsored by that company.

“I don’t think they would.

“And if we have to do that to get more of these I would be in favour of doing that and starting those negotiations to get that done.

“It benefits the residents of Essex, it saves Essex County Council money and it benefits many because they end up selling more cars and it cleans our air.”