The Essex areas set for huge boost in electric car charging points

The number of public EV charge points may have to increase by 20-fold in six years to keep up with demand, the county council has said. The prediction is set out in its Essex Electric Vehicle Charge Point Strategy - setting out its vision helping ensure chargers are in the right place to support the predicted growth in EVs.

Those areas which are lagging behind include Brentwood, Castle Point and Maldon which between them currently have just nine chargers. There are are large clusters of slow chargers in many of the urban areas of Essex such as Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow, Basildon, Braintree and also Clacton-on-Sea.

Ultrarapid chargers are located predominantly in forecourts and focused mainly on major roads in Essex such as the A12 to the northeast of Chelmsford and north of Colchester and also off the M11 from London to the southwest of Epping.

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The council has said that based on initial EV forecasts there may be a minimum need for approximately 1,500 public charge points by 2025 and around 6,000 public charge points by 2030, up from the 300 currently registered in the county. It adds that demand for these charge points is expected to be higher in areas where access to off-street parking is more restricted in high density urban areas such as Basildon, Harlow and Chelmsford.

The areas of Brentwood - with just four chargers, Castle Point with two and Maldon with three have been highlighted as particularly lacking. It adds a significant proportion of housing does not have access to a private drive or a dedicated off-street parking space, which restricts opportunities for home-charging.

And these types of property are often in areas most in need of levelling up. It says it will not permit the temporary placing of cables across the footway or highway but will provide guidance on appropriate charge point options such as “channelling, embedded or retractable solutions”.

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Sustainable Transport, said: “Essex has seen a significant increase in the ownership of hybrid and electric vehicles in recent years, We want the county to lead the way in offering alternative options for car users to support safer, greener, healthier travel and to do so we need access to a reliable convenient, accessible and fairly priced network of electric vehicle charging points.

“Our Essex Electric Vehicle Charge Point Strategy is the first step in making this happen, setting out a simple vision - the right charger in the right place. To achieve this we need to think carefully about where and how we prioritise access to chargers, how we can unlock funding and the role local councils can play in working with businesses to help meet demand and ensure areas of our county are not left behind".

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