Wealden plan to help plug EV charging point gap

Council run car parks in Wealden could have electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

The district council’s Cabinet has agreed to seek a partnership with the private sector “enabling the transfer of some, or all, risk liabilities from the council”.

Some funding maybe available from The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

A story by this website showed last November showed public charging points in Wealden were few and far between and below the numbers in neighbouring areas.

See report here

An officer’s report to last week’s Wealden Cabinet meeting sought a steer from councillors on their preferred approach to the delivery electric vehicle infrastructure with its car parks.

The report said that at the moment there were just eight locations in the district which could be considered truly accessible to the public.

There were others  but were for the use of customers of a shop or an hotel, for example, or are home chargers made available by arrangement by householders, described as a “new phenomenon” in the market place.

A charging point for electric vehicles in use in Hailsham. Photo: Wealden District Council.

Councillors were told that as the demand for public chargepoints grows, costs were coming down and schemes were becoming commercially attractive.

“Broadly speaking, the private sector is more likely to only invest where they have greater confidence that a chargepoint will be in demand and profitable. 

“Factors that increase the likelihood of this include choosing visible and convenient locations, with low installation costs (ie: no expensive grid upgrades needed), and a good uptake of electric vehicles in the area.

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Getting a balance

“Accordingly, they are likely to seek a larger revenue share from those sites. They will often also reduce their risk by negotiating longer contracts. 

“In practice, local authorities have worked with the private sector to achieve a balance,” a report said.

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will consider awarding grants for chargepoints situated in local authority car parks, where these are ‘in or near residential areas’ without access to off-street parking and where residents can charge both day and night.

Early discussions with OLEV have indicated that some of the council’s car parks may be eligible.

Related links

VoltEV Ltd specialises in electric vehicle charge point installation and consultation for homes and businesses.

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