► Vauxhall Electric Streets looks into on-street parking in the UK
► Enablement fund will help councils
► An ongoing program
Vauxhall is supplementing its growing electric vehicle range with a new program designed to bolster the UK’s on-street charging infrastructure. Called ‘Electric Streets,’ it can be divided in two parts; first worrying data about the UK’s EV on-street charging networks, and second a plan to improve and upgrade them.
‘Accessibility to charge points near your home is critical to the transition to electric vehicle ownership in the UK,’ said James Taylor, managing director of Vauxhall. ‘Accessibility to charge points near your home is critical to the transition to electric vehicle ownership in the UK. We want to galvanise the needs and interests of everyone, from the public, to the councils and the charging operators to make sure that anyone without a driveway is part of that journey.’
‘We want to help educate and inform the decision-makers, and enable the installation of more chargers, more quickly.’
First the bad news
Vauxhall’s program has revealed the EV’s charging public infrastructure may be even less developed than previously thought. For a start, it’s very opaque; 71.6% of councils don’t have a published strategy for on-street parking.
Secondly, data from 414 councils across the UK reveals 69% of them have yet to install any on-street chargers. This isn’t going to increase at the UK government’s target rate, either; of the 289 councils that provided information, only 14,188 new charge points will be established this year – not enough to hit the target of government’s target of 300,000 by 2030.
Vauxhall’s action plan involves a ‘Enablement Fund’ to help councils understand the scale of the issue, and they’ll be helped by char.gy, Connected Kerb and SureCharge – three companies already in the charging space. There’s also grassroots element; the public can register their needs at http://electricstreets.co.uk/ to provide a heatmap of needs across the country.
On-street charge points aren’t the same as the rapid public chargers you’ll find at service stations, but they’re a crucial element of the overall network: According to Vauxhall’s data, 40% of people don’t have access to a driveway or off-street parking (rising to 60% in urban areas), so on-street charging is often the main source of power for EV drivers.
As you’d expect, the capital enjoys the largest density of on-street chargers in the UK. London has 12,708 chargers already in operation, and with 6397 to be established over the next 12 months, the capital will soon have 19105. According to Vauxhall, that’s more than double the total number of points across the rest of the UK.