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The electric vehicle (EV) market is growing and EV charging points can now be found in many public places (supermarkets, garages, town centres) and at many workplaces.
Leicestershire County Council is following the progress of the electric vehicle market closely and recognises the role it can play in supporting the change to EVs and ultra- low emission vehicles.
The government currently expects the transition to EVs to be led by industry and consumers. There are a number of questions over how the increasing demand for EV charging should be met, and how infrastructure (both on and off-street) can be made more widely available to the public in a co-ordinated way.
Electric charging points in Leicestershire
Zap-map displays a map with the locations and providers of the charge-points, the type of charge, its availability and utilisation fee (if applicable).
Off-street electric vehicle charging points
The government recently launched the Road to Zero strategy which aims to encourage the use of EVs. The county council is closely following progress on this strategy.
The county council does not currently have any plans to install on–street charging infrastructure (this includes third-party funded infrastructure), due to the following reasons:
A lack of national guidance on how to develop standardised charging networks that are usable by most vehicles and drivers. Consistency will be vital if drivers are to be confident they can charge their vehicle at most charge points.
The funding currently on offer from the Department for Transport (DfT) only covers part of the full costs of installing and maintaining on-street charging points, at a time when the council’s budgets are already under significant financial pressure.
Uncertainties around responsibilities for on-going maintenance, managing fair usage and payment mechanisms.
Difficulties in locating charging points in residential areas without these impacting on other highway users (e.g. cables trailing across footways).
Requirements for new local parking regulations and enforcement.
The suitability of lampposts as charging points and their robustness to vandalism.
The pace of change in battery technology and potential redundancy of charging infrastructure in perhaps a relatively short time frame.
Steps we are taking
Following the progress of the electric vehicle market closely, including changes in technology, government policy and any suitable funding opportunities which arise.
Supporting emerging district and borough council planning policies, which encourage developers to consider EV infrastructure as part of new housing or employment developments.
Taking opportunities to press the government to set out a national approach and standards for EV charging infrastructure, which is appropriately funded.
Reviewing what trial schemes other authorities have introduced, or are currently piloting, to learn from their experiences.
Exploring with partners, options for encouraging the take up of Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles in the county, including consideration of third party funded charging points on the highway, where this is appropriate.
There are currently several different charge-point grants available from the government, which are detailed on the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) website.
Grants are only available for off-street charging points, and that residents wanting to charge their car from home must do so within the boundary of their own property. Any cables or wires being used to charge a vehicle across the pavement are a violation of the Highways Act (1980) and will be removed.
Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV)
The ULEV market is growing fast and will continue to do so as more manufacturers get on board with the technology, delivering models with greater ranges, faster charging times and lower prices.
These vehicles come in three main types:
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) BEVs are “electric only” vehicles that run solely on battery power and can travel between 100 and 300 miles on a single charge.
Some examples of these vehicles include: the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, BMW i3 and the Tesla S saloon.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEVs) PHEVs are vehicles that have a conventional petrol or diesel engine in combination with an electric motor. They have a relatively short range on electric power (30 – 40 miles), but the use of both drive systems can improve efficiency to figures in excess of 130 miles per gallon.
Some examples of these include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Kia Niro PHEV, Toyota Prius Plug-in and the BMW 530e.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) FCEVs are still at a development stage with limited production due to issues regarding the production, storage and refuelling of hydrogen.
There are currently no examples of FCEVs that can be bought or seen on our roads.