Councils ‘significantly underestimate’ charge point installation time-frames
Local authorities “significantly underestimate” the amount of time it takes to install EV charging networks when applying for Government funding, according to a new survey.
The data, which comes from a study by operator Liberty Charge, claims 85% of local authority professionals involved in delivery of charging infrastructure believe it takes less than two years to install such devices, including allowing for the time to create charge point strategies. Additionally, almost half (48%) believe it could also take less than a year.
The reality is it is closer to three years and before work can commence an experienced lead is needed to develop a charge point strategy, which alone takes around nine months. If Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) funding is chosen, experience of the pilot scheme has shown it can take 12 months for a funding decision.
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) says it will release the full fund in two tranches; in the financial year 23/24, and another in 24/25 – suggesting there could be another year to wait, if the initial application is unsuccessful. Six months is then required to identify the most appropriate sites, and a further three months for deployment – taking the total to 30 months, or two-and-half years.
The survey also asked the length of time charging networks would take to install without government funding, but still including strategy creation. Nearly six in ten (58%) believed it would take less than a year – and only just over a third (38%) knew a strategy was required to obtain funding or appoint a private CPO.
Neil Isaacson, CEO of Liberty Charge, says as the Government prepares to roll out its LEVI fund, local authorities must understand the timescales involved. He said: “As councils have not been given access to insight on timescales, they believe we have more time than we do to install the EV charging networks required to service demand. The reality is that we are way off track.”
The news comes as Liberty Charge has worked with Brentwood Borough Council to rollout additional fast and rapid EV charging infrastructure for local residents.
The two locations, which include at a playing fields and a car park, will be privately funded without government funding. Liberty Charge will also manage all on-going charge point operation and maintenance, with no requirement for government funding.
Community Service, Environment and Enforcement Committee Chair, Cllr Will Russell said: “We have been steadily progressing with the plan to ensure our residents can access a wide range of sites across Brentwood. With the government’s goal of eradicating all purchases of combustion engine vehicles by 2030 and a forecast that by then there will be £3 million electric vehicles on the roads, it is vital that this project continues to increase charging points.”