Most electric vehicle charging points installed in the North East of England with Government money just a few years ago are reaching the end of their useful life, says the North East Combined Authority.
Tobyn Hughes, NECA’s managing director of transport operations, said no provision for maintenance had been included in the Government’s Plugged in Places grant scheme that funded most of the area’s charge points, installed earlier this decade.
“Furthermore, some of the charging points do not now meet the required European standard, which will come into force for newly installed EV chargers from November 2017 and for existing chargers being repaired from November 2018.
“Local authorities have carried out some upgrades recently to meet this standard. However, it is anticipated that at least £130k will still need to be spent across the NECA area to comply with this requirement should local authorities wish the chargers to be available for use.”
NECA is to procure a three-year contract (with two possible one-year extensions) for the management and maintenance of the existing network of charge points and the procurement of new charging units. Hughes said the aim was to reduce, and ideally eliminate, the cost to councils and Nexus of managing and maintaining the charging points. The successful operator will charge for electricity used.
Hughes said the North East’s EV fleet was smaller than Government expectations. “Government targets call for 17,476-20,740 Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in the NECA area. However, a recent demand study showed that, if trends in EV use continue, there will only be 7,500 EVs in the region by 2020.” ?
The North East is implementing a £4.33m Go Ultra Low charge point programme, funded by £1.53m from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, £1.5m of European Regional Development Fund grant, and £1.3m from Newcastle University’s UK Collaboratorium for Research into Cities (UKCRIC) award.
The programme will fund two EV rapid charging stations (at the Science Central site in Newcastle and on the A19 in Sunderland) and six rapid charging clusters of two or three charging points at locations yet to be determined.
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