North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) has been awarded almost £3 million for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the county. The government funding is subject to NNC submitting a business plan on how the money will be spent by the end of next month.
With the sale of combustion engine cars to be banned by 2035, NNC has committed to developing a strong EV infrastructure and wants to provide 250 public electric vehicle charging points by 2025.
The council says that the local electric vehicle infrastructure (LEVI) funding, which was announced in March this year, will help them to achieve this. Councillor Matt Binley is the executive member for highways, travel and assets.
He said at an executive meeting on Thursday, October 12, that there are currently 139 publicly available EV chargers in North Northants, but that the number of devices per 100,000 people is below the UK average.
Cllr Binley said: “We want to make sure we are not a left behind area in that regard. We want North Northamptonshire to be an attractive place not only for individuals to move here, but also for industry as well. That is exactly what this funding is for and exactly why we are putting this strategy in place.”
Estimates produced by CENEX, an independent emissions consultancy, have found that about 2,800 new public chargers need to be installed in North Northamptonshire by 2030.
The council’s draft strategy outlines their future objectives which include 250 publicly available EV charge points (EVCP) by March 2025, charge points across all 12 towns by December 2025, and 500 EVCPs by the end of 2027.
It also targets 80 per cent of residents without off-street parking to be within 250m of a publicly available charger by the end of 2029. If the council’s business case is viable it will be awarded 90 per cent of the £2.895m, with the final 10 per cent of the funding landing if the government approves of the successful supplier.
The supplier will be responsible for providing electricity, repairs, maintenance, and all ongoing costs. Councillor Matt Keane represents the labour group in Corby West.
He said that although it’s important to ensure there’s not an “electric vehicle charging desert” in the area, he had concerns about the single provider “charging unrealistic pricing” with no market competition.
Cllr Binley said that there will be an “agreed ceiling” with the supplier and that “there is protection built-in” if they exceed that amount within a given period.
Leader of the Council, Jason Smithers, said: “I have seen first-hand across North Northamptonshire that the chargers that we currently have are always utilised. EVs are the way forward.
“It seems to be very clear that more and more of them are on the roads and I absolutely welcome the ability for people that can’t get an electric car, because they don’t have the facility to have a charge box, can now actually get into that market.”