City launches public consultation on Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy


Author: Mankirat Kaur

In a bid to accommodate the imminent surge in electric vehicle (EV) ownership, the city is urging residents and businesses to voice their opinions on the draft plans for an extensive EV charging network.

The draft Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy aims to establish an affordable, reliable, and accessible citywide network of charging points, aligning with the projected rapid growth in EV ownership over the next decade.

Anticipating the rising demand for EV charging, the strategy assesses factors such as decreasing purchase costs, expanding driving ranges, and manufacturers responding to the government's Zero Emission Mandate by 2035. It explores exemplary practices, emerging technologies, and funding opportunities with a focus on delivering a high-quality public EV chargepoint network, dispelling misconceptions about electric vehicles, and standardising chargers for universal use.

Key objectives of the strategy include:

1.           Establishing a high-quality network of public EV chargepoints citywide.

2.           Promoting the benefits of electric vehicles and dispelling common misconceptions.

3.           Collaborating with the industry to standardise chargers for universal compatibility.

4.           Ensuring various payment options, including pay-as-you-go and pre-paid bundles.

5.           Supporting the electrification of public transport, private hire/taxi, car club vehicles, and the city's own fleet.

The current count of EV chargepoints in the city, approximately 250, is set to double to over 500 by the end of 2024. The strategy outlines plans to provide up to 1,800 EV chargepoints on public land by 2034.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, states, "We are determined to ensure that the availability of chargepoints is not a barrier to EV uptake and that public chargepoints are accessible, reliable, and affordable. A key priority will be to explore all funding opportunities to ensure that households without access to off-street parking are not disadvantaged."

The public consultation period will extend until Wednesday, January 31, allowing citizens to contribute their insights. The final strategy is slated for publication in March. To facilitate engagement, an interactive map on the consultation portal enables residents to propose specific locations for EV chargepoints near their homes or workplaces.