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Welsh rural county puts tourism strategy at heart of new EV charging network

Black Mountains, Carmarthenshire. Credit: Discover Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire has invested £1m in rolling out an extensive network of electric vehicle charging points across the county in a bid to ensure the sustainability of the tourism sector.

There are now 130 charging stations throughout Carmarthenshire, which run across key rural routes used by visitors exploring the county – 43 of those are rapid charging points, which is more than any other rural Welsh county has available and ensures drivers are able to charge their vehicles at a much faster rate.

Carmarthenshire has already surpassed the Welsh Government’s target of introducing an EV charging point every 20 miles across the nation, with the county having one charging point for every seven miles.

The third largest county in Wales by area, Carmarthenshire is a popular destination for tourists and the local authority saw it vital that its net zero objectives were embedded within its tourism strategy, considering electric vehicle infrastructure key to encouraging environmentally conscious travel.

This approach is best exemplified in the development of a curated set of driving routes which lends itself to the ‘slow travel’ movement. Named the Wild Drovers’ Way, the scenic circular touring route – made up of three separate sections – covers more than 180 miles of the county’s rural backroads, and retraces the steps of the Drovers – farmers who walked their livestock to market over long distances – from as far back as the Middle Ages. The route, despite meandering along undulating backroads and the most rural parts of the county, is well covered by EV charging stations.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure and Tourism, Cllr Hazel Evans said: “As a county with some of the most spectacular rural road routes in the country, beloved by the many millions of people who visit each year, we wanted to ensure that we have the EV infrastructure to deliver on the ever-increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads and to remedy the charge-anxiety that many EV owners are reporting.

“With a charging point available on average every seven miles across the county, visitors will be able to happily explore our iconic landmarks including Carreg Cennen, Llyn y Fan Fach and the beach renowned for its land speed record history, Pendine, without the fear of low charge affecting their trip.”