On Thursday 15 December 2022, Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet accepted the findings and recommendations of a Task and Finish Group review of electric vehicle (EV) charging.
In February 2022, the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) agreed ‘to monitor the rollout of electric charging points’. A member Task & Finish Group (TFG) was established to look at the various aspects of this in relation to the local authority and what it can do in terms of installing EV charging points.
Warwickshire County Council is committed to improving electric vehicle charging infrastructure around the County to enable residents to make the switch to EVs.
Over the last 18 months, the Council has already been successful in submitting bids to secure approximately £800K of grants and investment to help improve EV charging availability in Warwickshire.
As a result of securing this funding, Warwickshire County Council has delivered 79 twin-headed 7kw charge points across 26 charging hubs, located in a mixture of urban and more rural locations across Warwickshire.
The combined public and private charge point installations have meant that Warwickshire now has 58.6 charging devices per 100,000 people, which is above average compared to the average for England.
The Task and Finish Group met monthly between May and July 2022, the Task and Finish Group made the following recommendations to Cabinet:
- Elected members to be updated on a quarterly basis as to the progress of EV charging infrastructure installation.
- Officers should continue to seek funding opportunities to enable the delivery of EV charging infrastructure.
- Officers to work with the County Council communications team to provide more information to the public about the available EV charging network.
- The Nuneaton & Bedworth area to be prioritised for EV charging points until the same level of accessibility (in terms of charge points per 100,000 population) as other Boroughs and Districts is achieved.
- Officers based in County Highways to further monitor trials elsewhere and consider how a gully solution could be implemented in Warwickshire to enable residents without off-street parking to charge via their domestic electricity supply.
- The Council writes to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ask him to consider a change to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 to permit the installation of a charging point to be one metre instead of two metres from the highway boundary.
- Staff resourcing for the commissioning and delivery of EV charging infrastructure by the County to be reviewed and, when funding permits, increased.
- Review and if appropriate seek to alter the Traffic Regulation Orders that apply to parking spaces adjacent to charging points in on-street locations to ensure access to charging points is not unduly restricted by petrol/diesel vehicles.
Cllr Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning said: “The recommendations of this Task and Finish Group are fantastic news for residents and visitors to the county who own electric cars and for anyone who is considering investing in one.
“At Warwickshire County Council, our EV charging ambitions do not stop here and we are also looking firmly to the future.. We are exploring all possible options to rapidly expand our infrastructure for EV charging, prioritising areas with a lack of off-street parking and looking at solutions rural areas of the County.”
Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate & Culture, said: “We know that carbon emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles are a big contributor to Warwickshire’s overall carbon emissions. Through a mixture of more electric vehicles on our roads and more residents choosing to travel actively, we can all contribute to reducing these emissions as we strive together for a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.
“It’s not only EV Charging infrastructure where Warwickshire is excelling. We are also leading nationally on future mobility technologies, with a world-class R&D ecosystem and home to a range of innovative businesses working at the forefront of the green technological revolution, with connected and automated mobility technology, zero carbon new energy vehicles including battery electric and hybrid propulsion systems, and battery technology research and development. It would definitely be fair to say that Warwickshire's ambitions match its national status in the drive to make EVs part of our everyday lives.”
The location of all available charge points in Warwickshire and beyond is available on: Zap Map
The Cabinet Report for this item can be found here: https://democracy.warwickshire.gov.uk/documents/s28380/4%20-%20EVChargingPointsTaskandFinishGroupFindings.pdf
Find out more about electric vehicle charging in Warwickshire, here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/roads-transport/charge-points-electric-vehicles
The Council is currently engaging with residents around the draft Sustainable Futures Strategy. Anyone can find out more and have their stay here: https://ask.warwickshire.gov.uk/insights-service/sustainable-futures-strategy/
For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/
To sign-up to the Warwickshire County Council climate change and sustainability newsletter, visit: www.eepurl.com/hrk-zf