Electric vehicle (EV) charge point infrastructure in Waltham Forest is set for a significant boost with the installation of new on-street charge points, owned and operated by Liberty Charge and delivered via its sister company Virgin Media O2.
Following Liberty Charge’s initial roll out in March 2021, the addition of 76 new sockets in February this year brings the total across Waltham Forest to 96 sockets across 32 sites.
The Council also aims to install an additional 35 Liberty Charge bay locations later this year as part of its wider sustainable transport strategy.
Liberty Charge is a specialist in delivering charge point infrastructure at zero-cost to local authorities, taking full responsibility for maintenance and operations of charge points without requiring any local taxpayer support.
Climate change has been a major priority for Waltham Forest Council since it first declared a climate emergency in April 2019.
The ongoing installation of EV infrastructure is putting the borough’s sustainable transport strategy into action, encouraging residents to make the switch to low emission vehicles, with the strategy also promoting cycling and walking in the borough.
As outlined in its EV Charge Point Strategy, Waltham Forest Council plans to have a charging point in every controlled parking zone in the borough by 2025.
It has also committed to ensuring 80% of residents live within a short walk of a fast-charging point to enhance accessibility across all locations in the borough and mitigate concerns of a ‘postcode lottery’.
Cllr Clyde Loakes, Waltham Forest Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “The majority of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the transport sector, so we are focused on facilitating more active and sustainable modes of transport as a priority. Our target is to double to over EVCP 400 sockets in the borough by the spring of this year to support this effort.
“Having a fully funded model is a huge advantage to us as a local authority. It’s really encouraging to have the private sector onboard as opposed to draining public funds desperately needed elsewhere, especially now as we are faced with a cost-of-living crisis.
“Liberty Charge has supported us every step of the way, from finalising designs and plans to site identification, creating a smooth and easy process to progress the rollout infrastructure.”
Neil Isaacson, Liberty Charge CEO, said: “Together with our strategic partner Virgin Media 02, we’re supporting local authorities across the country to reach their climate goals, and ultimately lower our carbon emissions. We’re ideally positioned to roll out EV infrastructure networks at the scale and the pace required to support the UK Government’s commitment to ban new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030.”
Adding to this roll out of new locations, in March, Liberty Charge will also take over and upgrade the existing 10 sites operated by EV Dot over the past 11 months to give residents a unified experience using the same equipment and user interface.
Image: courtesy Waltham Forest Council / Liberty Charge