To date, a high proportion of public chargepoints have been installed through UK and devolved government-funded grant schemes, and local authority match-funding. As the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure market has matured, so has the variety of procurement models and funding options available to public sector bodies. Private sector partnerships and revenue share arrangements are becoming increasingly common and a good choice for some local authorities, depending on the circumstances.
In the Road to Zero strategy, published in July 2018, the Government stated its ambition “to encourage and leverage private sector investment to build and operate a thriving, self-sustaining public network”. With the right policy framework and more EVs on the road, the Government expects the market to deliver the public infrastructure needed in the long-term.
Moving forward, procurement decisions by local authorities will therefore vary depending on the availability of government or private sector funding, where market failures emerge, the potential profitability of the charging network, and the level of risk that the local authority wishes to carry.
Energy Saving Trust’s guide, Procuring electric vehicle charging infrastructure as a local authority, describes the wide range of options open to local authorities to fund and manage public chargepoints, illustrated by case studies.
Topics covered within include investing public funding, securing private investment, options around providing free chargepoints and working on private land, and more. All information is unbiased and transparent, provided through extensive research and first-hand experience in the industry. Six case studies document a range of approaches local authorities have taken to procure chargepoints in the UK.
Two other guides complement this, altogether providing comprehensive guidance on procuring chargepoints, placing and integrating them, and managing costs. Positioning chargepoints and adapting parking policies for electric vehicles and Minimising the costs of street works and grid connections for charging infrastructure can be found on the EST website, under Developing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Local authorities looking for more tailored assistance, can take advantage of Energy Saving Trust’s Local Government Support Programme. Our three Regional Account Managers are based across England, and work with local authorities on a one-to-one basis, supporting the development of knowledge and sharing best practice.
Funded by the Department for Transport, Energy Saving Trust can provide tailored support to help local authorities improve local air quality and reduce CO2 emissions. We can offer impartial advice on chargepoint procurement, planning policies and can facilitate a team workshop or independently review your draft plans.
The team can help your local authority identify suitable transport programmes as a local and regional level that can impact air quality, and help you link existing programmes and initiatives to develop a stronger strategy overall.
Over the next few months the Regional Account Managers are holding a series of free webinars to help local authority officers build their knowledge and share expertise around low emission transport. Topics include air quality improvements, responding to the climate emergency, and stakeholder engagement. All webinars will be made available as recordings and will complement the charging guides and Local Government Support Programme offering.
Energy Saving Trust continues to deliver a range of other projects and funding streams on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT) and Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) that support local authorities in England.
The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, delivered by Energy Saving Trust on behalf of OLEV, allows local authorities to apply for funding to help with the costs of procurement and installation of on-street charging points for residential use. Local authorities can also apply to DfT’s eCargo Bike Grant Fund, delivered by the Energy Saving Trust to support the acquisition of ecargo bikes and make last mile delivery more sustainable.
Visit Energy Saving Trust’s Transport pages to download a copy of the charging infrastructure guides, and see what other support is suitable for you.