Councils continue to invest in EV charging infrastructure

Local authorities continue to invest in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure with West Northamptonshire Council and South Gloucestershire Council both adding additional charging points.

EV charging points are set to be installed at seven sites across Northampton this autumn as part of the Council’s (WNC) partnership with the Virgin Park and Charge (VPACH2) project.

The project aims to meet the electric vehicle charging needs of people without off-road parking; residents with off-road parking can already take advantage of government grants to install an EVCP at home.

Northampton is considered an ideal place for this activity because of the large number for terraced streets and other types of homes without off-road parking. Lessons learned from this trial will also be viewed alongside data from WNC’s network of off-street charging points to better inform future decisions.

Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC’s Cabinet member for environment, highways, transport and waste, said: “Cutting car emissions and exploring innovative, clean and green technology are among our priorities as we work towards our vision of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“We’re at a turning point when it comes to how we power our motor cars, the technology is changing fast so it is incumbent on us as a local authority to plant seeds for the market to grow from.

“A lack of charging space for residents of our historic town is a major hurdle that no individual could overcome. It’s a modest start, but I think it demonstrates we are taking climate change seriously and I’m really excited to see what this trial does for the uptake of electric vehicles in the area.”

The VPACH2 project is part of a wider set of UK Government sponsored initiatives to build an electric vehicle charging network to ensure a seamless transition from fossil fuels to electric power by 2030, when the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned.

The VPACH2 delivery model for Northampton is based on the Council acting as a facilitator and enabler. A private firm – Liberty Charge – will install, operate and maintain the charging points, with the Council having no liabilities associated with infrastructure, power, or maintenance.

Elsewhere, owners of electric vehicles (EVs) can now charge their vehicles at even more locations across South Gloucestershire.

The council have recently installed new EV charging points as part of the Revive network in Staple Hill, Filton and Mangotsfield. Existing charge points in Bradley Stoke and Longwell Green Leisure Centres have also been switched over to Revive.

The new EV charge points are available at:

  • Church Road (on-street) Car Park, Filton
  • St James Street Car Park, Mangotsfield
  • Page Road Short Stay Car Park, Staple Hill.

The Filton site includes two rapid charging bays (50kWh).

Funding to install EV charging points across the region has been awarded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) to the West of England local authorities as part of Go Ultra Low West (GULW) project. Approximately 120 EV charging bays will be installed as part of the Revive vehicle charging network, with 42 of these located across South Gloucestershire. To use the charge points, users can sign up to Revive at

South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Strategic Infrastructure Cllr Steve Reade said: “As part of our climate emergency goals we are committed to lowering carbon emissions on our roads, and as we all start to travel again for work and leisure purposes, we hope people will consider greener and more sustainable transport options.

“We believe that growing our electric vehicle charging network in the local area will encourage even more people to make the switch to an EV.”

All of the charge points installed within South Gloucestershire Council car parks will be available to use via the Revive network, which is free to join and will include use of the any GeniePoint charging points across the UK.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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