Partnering with local authorities to deliver community EV-charging schemes.
Central government has set out an ambitious timescale to transition the UK towards greener motoring, including the 2030 deadline which ends the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
The Government has put in place a series of funding packages to support this transition aimed at consumers – with grants and subsidies for chargers and vehicles – and local authorities.
Yet despite these monetary pledges, many experts are worried the UK’s rollout of widespread EV charging infrastructure is not moving fast enough to support the transition to electric vehicles.
The Policy Exchange think tank, for example, published its ‘Charging Up’ report in February stating that the country will need 400,000 public chargers by 2030, up from the 35,000 now in place.
“Experts are worried the UK’s rollout of EV charging infrastructure is not moving fast enough”
The report also highlighted the key role public authorities needed to play in areas where commercial charging companies will typically show less interest, such as residential areas.
So what can local authorities do to help accelerate this transition to cleaner motoring, and what options are available to them to manage the costs involved?
Each local authority area has its own demographic, geographic and funding challenges. However, The Energy Saving Trust produced a white paper in September last year setting out a range of options for authorities around charge point procurement, including the opportunity for collaboration with the private sector.
Another significant area of support comes from the Government’s On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which has both mandated and provided funding for local authorities to increase the availability of on-street chargepoints in residential streets where off-street parking is not available.
Mer UK is working with several local authorities to help deliver EV charging infrastructure into these underserved areas. For example, we are part of the Scaling On-Street Charging Infrastructure (SOSCI), Innovate UK project in the north of England. The project, which has Durham County Council as a major partner, will install 200 fast 22KW chargers over 18 months, specifically into areas that commercial companies would typically find less attractive because of lower usage and therefore less profitability.
Mer believes the key to accelerating EV adoption is ensuring people without driveways or garages have access to on-street chargers, providing them with the confidence to be able to charge locally and make the shift to electric viable for them. Our experience – gained in EV world leader Norway – has shown just how vital it is to install charging points into areas like these if the country is to meet its ambitious EV switching targets.