A project to install electric vehicle charge points in North Devon and across the county begins this month.

The two-year, £1.3million project will see at least 25 points installed for public use across the county.

In North Devon, charge points will be installed in key car parks in Barnstaple, South Molton and Ilfracome as part of the scheme, which is expected to be complete by December 2021.

The project is being led by Devon County Council in partnership with North Devon Council, as well as East Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and West Devon district councils.

It follows Devon County Council securing a grant of £817,712 from the European Regional Development Fund.

Once complete the Devon Low-carbon Energy and Transport Technology Innovator (DELETTI) programme will prevent more than 300 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere every year.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council's cabinet member for the environment, said: "The government has committed to banning the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040, but long before that we want more people to start using electric vehicles.

"It's been difficult to encourage more people to use electric cars until there are more charging points, and more charging points won't be provided until there are more electric cars on the road.

"This partnership with the district councils helps break that cycle. Fewer petrol and diesel cars will lead to a reduction in emissions, cleaner air and an improved quality of life for residents."

The charge points will be powered by renewable energy. These could be in the form of solar carports - solar panels mounted on frames to enable cars to park underneath and recharge .

North Devon Council's lead member for climate change, Councillor Caroline Leaver said the project was a 'step in the right direction' in North Devon.

She said: "North Devon Council has declared a climate change emergency and we are committed to exploring every opportunity to help reduce global warming.

"This project is very much a step in the right direction as there are not enough electric car charging points in North Devon.

"We recognise the benefit using electric cars can make in preventing carbon from entering the atmosphere and hopefully with better access to charging points, more people will think electric when looking to purchase a new car."

Torridge District Council is not included in the scheme. The council started rolling out charging points in its key towns earlier this year after partnering with ChargePoint UK.

The 55kw rapid charging units can charge two vehicles at a time and take them from empty to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.

Other towns set to benefit from the county council scheme include Exeter, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Honiton, Seaton, Totnes, Ivybridge, Kingsbridge, Tavistock, Okehampton, Dartmouth, Salcombe, Dawlish, Teignmouth and Newton Abbot.