Electric charging points – we need to get out of the slow lane

One item in  the Government’s 10 point green plan announced last week included a ban on the sales of new combustion engines by 2030, with grants for electric cars, and funding for charge points. The sale of some hybrid cars and vans will continue until 2035. However, the 2030 ban means that all new car buyers across the UK within a decade will need easy access to charging infrastructure. However,  the current public charging network favours the south east and London as these two areas received 45% of new charger capacity in the past year, according to recent analysis (see: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/23/regional-disparities-in-electric-car-charging-points-revealed

According to the data compiled by Zap Map there are 63 public chargers per 100,000 people in London, more than double the average of the rest of the UK. Northern Ireland had the lowest, with only 16.8 per 100,000 people. The North Yorkshire County Council web site states that North Yorkshire is a two tier local authority area, and they are responsible for on-street car parking while the responsibility for off-street public car parks generally lies with the local district council or National Park Authority. The County says that it down to the seven district councils and/or the two National Park Authorities to provide charging facilities at off-street locations. “Currently we have no plan to roll out on-street charging infrastructure on a large scale or in response to individual requests for on-street charge points, though we are currently investigating a number of potential options” they report.

There are no electric charging points in Settle at the moment, although the Town Council is considering providing one in the Town Square. The nearest are located in The Courtyard on the A65. This summer Craven District Council and Engenie (an electric vehicle charging network operator) installed two electric vehicle charging points in the High Street Car Park in Skipton. The contactless charging points have been installed as a pilot project and are the first council charging points in the district. Other charging points are located in and around the Town.

Analysis commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the UK industry lobby group, suggested the UK would need to build more than 1.9m public charging points by 2030 – well over 500 per day. The bill is expected to be £16.7bn.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said government investment so far was “a step in the right direction” but still “only a fraction of the multi-billion pound investment required. “The industry invested £54bn in electrification across Europe last year,” Hawes said. “We need others to step up.”

Meanwhile in the light of the government report, ACE will be raising the issue at the next meeting of Craven Climate Action Partnership on 9 December and  with the Friends of Settle and Carlisle Railway and the Development Company (about possible provision at Settle Station). It will also be writing to Booths Properties Manager about proving charging points at the Settle Store.

In March 2019 Chair and Chief Executive Edwin Booth said: “At Booths we take a pride in providing the best possible service to customers both old and new. With the increase in electric car ownership we are working with InstaVolt (a provider of rapid electric car chargers) to offer a new and important facility which is part of the journey towards a more sustainable future for motoring.”

Subsequently charging points were provided at selected stores across the North West and Yorkshire, including Kirby Lonsdale, but to date nothing for Settle.

ACE will keep you informed of developments.

Barry White.


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