Agenda item

EV Charging Update

Minutes:

The Assistant Director (IT and Transformation) provided Members with an update on progress with Electric Vehicle charge points and highlighted the following:

 

·       To date, delivery of charge points in the borough have been achieved through funding provided by the Office of Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) and the On- Street Residential Charge point Scheme (ORCS).

·       On 25th March 2022, the government published the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Strategy which specifies access to local on-street public charging as essential. As a result, a package of measures are being made available to support local

authorities and transform local on-street charging. This includes uplifting the new Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund with £400m of capital and £50m of resource funding. And, the continuation of the On-Street Residential Charge point Scheme with £20m allocated for 2022/23.

·       Within the Climate Change Management Delivery Plan, we have committed to

explore the provision of EV charging points within council owned assets and

implement actions where a sound business case can be provided.

·       Milton Place car park and Parrock Street car park both now have one dual

connector fast charger (can charge 2 vehicles at once) and one ultra-fast EV

charge point. Both chargers are operated by BP Pulse.

·       In addition to the above, BP Pulse will also be installing an additional 10 x dual

connector 7kW EV charge points in Parrock Street car park using ORCS funding.

This is to provide charging opportunities for town centre residents who do not

have access to off street car charging at home.

·       Gravesham have also secured OZEV funding under the Kent600 programme with

Connected Kerb to install additional EV charge points at more council owned car

parks. Details of these are contained in the table below.

 

           

Location

Number of charge points

Rathmore Road Car Park, Gravesend

4 (or 6 if capacity allows)

Echo Square Car Park, Gravesend

4

May Avenue Car Park (Perry Street), Northfleet

4

Camer Parade Car Park, Meopham

4

The Bay Car Park, Vigo

6

The Hill Car Park, Northfleet

2

Osney Way Car Park, Gravesend

3

Cygnet Leisure Centre Car Park, Northfleet

4

Total charge points in Kent600 programme

30

 

 

·       Sufficient electrical grid capacity within the borough has proved to be a recurring problem with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO), which has resulted in some sites being more viable than others and grid connection costs varying between the feasibility and ordering stages.

·       The provision of a rapid EV charge point for use by taxi’s in the town centre has taken longer than expected due to cost and capacity issues with the DNO. We are now exploring an option in Parrock Street which we hope will be viable.

·       A bid is being made to National Highways as part of their Designated Funds, Lower Thames Crossing for additional EV charge points in North Kent. This funding could help deliver to locations that are otherwise not possible due to connection cost. A second taxi EV charge point has been included in this, for which the preferred location is Rathmore Road (at the railway station taxi rank).

·       It is recognised that what we are doing now is only a starting point, and as the adoption of EV’s increases the amount of charge points required will also need to scale up. We have therefore registered our interest in the LEVI fund so we can continue to attract funding.

·       The LEVI fund consists of a short pilot phase for three to eight local authorities to test the rollout of EV charging at scale, followed by the opening of the full fund for all local authorities. We will use the time during the pilot to plan how we can deliver additional charge points in the borough so we are in prime position once the full fund opens.

·       We took the opportunity during the LEVI fund consultation with the Energy Saving Trust to feed back our experiences with the DNO and how grid capacity needs to be improved for expansion of the national EV charging infrastructure at the scale required.

·       We have also encouraged Parish Councils to participate in EV charging funding opportunities, and Meopham Village Hall now has two EV charge points installed.

 

 

The Assistant Director (IT and Transformation) fielded questions from the Committee and highlighted the following:

 

·       Very few EV vehicles can take advantage of rapid charge at the moment. A large consumer demand will bring about a change in this area. Battery type is also a key factor in the speed of charging; a solid electrolyte battery will improve charge time without the risks of combustion.

·       The current EV charging provision in the Borough is not enough but it’s not just down to GBC to provide. The Council needs to work with the private sector to meet the demand.

·       The upkeep of EV charging points is of paramount importance and the Council has made sure whoever installs them also provides maintenance.

·       You do not have to pay for parking whilst are using the EV charge point in Parrock Street car park.

·       Gridserve is a company that is building Electric Forecourts to boost charging facilities in the UK.

 

 

The Climate Change Advisory Board noted the contents of the report.

 

Supporting documents: