To give consideration to a presentation on the provision of facilities for charging electric vehicles in the borough.
Consideration was given to a presentation which provided an update on the North Tyneside electric vehicle charging strategy. It was explained that the market for zero emission vehicles was currently constrained by a number of factors including the limited choice of vehicles, the high cost of electric vehicles compared to petrol/diesel vehicles, the small number of entry level vehicles and the limited supply of vehicles in the used car market. Due to the current shortages of computer chips waiting times for new vehicles were significantly higher than would be expected and this affected the roll out of electric vehicles both in the UK and worldwide.
Reference was made to the government incentives currently available to encourage the roll out of zero emission vehicles. Many of the incentives were focussed around company car tax relief although it was anticipated that once the Zero Emission Vehicle market matured the incentives were likely to be reduced or withdrawn, as had happened with the incentives provided for the roll out of solar PV systems.
It was explained that the maximum range of zero emission vehicles was currently around 350 to 400 kilometres (km) on a single charge which was sufficient for the majority of residents, 85% of whom travelled within a 30km area. This meant that, like petrol or diesel fuelling arrangements, most residents would only need to charge their vehicle once a week. It was suggested that early adopters were likely to be those who could comfortably and conveniently transition to electric vehicles without it adversely impacting on their daily routine.
It was also explained that the existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure was expanding to include a variety of venues such as business parks, retail parks, gym/leisure centres, supermarkets and hospitals rather than being focussed on individual homes. It was noted that many homes did not have the facility to have electric car charging facilities installed due to their location or lack of off-street parking facilities. Whilst there were a number of on-street charging options available they created a number of challenges to overcome which included:
· The allocation of parking to specific properties;
· The creation of additional street furniture and issues around obstruction of the footpath, damage to the equipment and future maintenance;
· The redesign of the existing street lighting furniture to accommodate vehicle charging points
· Limited off-grid solutions; and
· Infrastructure not being transferrable for example if the property owner moved.
It was noted that the Authority had not been a mainstream fuel provider to businesses or the public and it therefore did not intend to become a long-term default provider of electric vehicle charging points. It was also noted that the lifecycle of battery technology was around 2-3 years and this was significantly shorter than the lifespan of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It was explained that charging infrastructure installed now would be obsolete by 2030. The Authority would facilitate others, such as energy companies and fuel providers to provide public electric vehicle charging facilities.
Details of the current electric vehicle charging points around the borough were outlined. It was explained that no one in the borough was more than 2km from a charging point.
It was explained that the Authority would work with suppliers/operators to facilitate the roll out of off-street charging points and that regionally work would be undertaken to establish a network operator to manage maintain and upgrade the charging network to improve reliability. The Authority would bid for funding to increase coverage and the speed of available charging points in the borough.
It was explained that the Strategy would be presented to the Cabinet for approval and would be kept under review .
The Chair thanked the officers for their report.
Resolved that the report be noted