Plug in and go
Twenty new kerbside electric vehicle charging points across Buckinghamshire have gone live, thanks to a successful county council funding bid to the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
And in the coming two years, Bucks will be part of a Government-funded pilot to trial innovative ‘wireless’ charging for electric cars.
The 20 traditional charge points, mounted on lamp-posts or bollards in six locations across the county, were installed with a £35,288 OLEV grant following a six-month trial in Marlow in September last year.
The charging points have been supplied by Char.gy Ltd, a company launched in 2016 to provide residential electric vehicle charging for people without off-street parking. The council expects to commission another phase of kerbside installations early next year if OLEV funding is available.
Meanwhile, the council will be working with Char.gy to pilot road-mounted induction charging points, which would do away with connection cables. Kerbside induction ‘mats’, flush with the road surface, will be installed at locations yet to be decided to test ‘wireless’ charging with specially adapted electric cars.
Buckinghamshire County Council’s Head of Highways, Mark Averill, said the pilot, at an early stage, would run over two years and test not only the feasibility of road-mounted induction mats but also the special adaptation needed to allow electric cars to be charged using this cable-less method.
For now, the 20 pay-as-you-go charging points – installed in neighbourhoods with no off-street parking in Winslow, Amersham, Chesham, High Wycombe and Princes Risborough, with six more in Marlow – will provide cable-fed top-ups at 33p per kilowatt-hour.
The addition of these charging points brings to 59 the total number of public points across the county. They will all appear on an online interactive map hosted by www.zapmap.com
Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport, said Buckinghamshire needed to lead in making it easier for owners of electric cars to charge their vehicles on the street, particularly those with no access to a driveway or garage.
He said: ‘These innovative projects move us forward a huge step in encouraging electric car use in Buckinghamshire. We’re beginning to break the chicken and egg argument that says society can’t expect more electric car users until there are more charging points, and we can’t afford to provide more charging points until there are more electric cars on the road.’
Installation, costing £47,050, included £11,762 from the County’s Capital Programme fund.
Locations of charging points:
Winslow: 1 in Burley Road
Amersham: 3 in High Street
Chesham: 4 in Mount Nugent, Little Hivings and Hivings Hill
High Wycombe: 2 in Grainger Court, Olympic Way
Princes Risborough: 1 in Southfield Road
Marlow: 9 in Marefield Road, Foxes Piece, Station Rise, The Causeway, Oxford Road and Station Road
Kerbside power: one of the lamp-post charging points installed in Bucks