Central Bedfordshire Council: Residential Charge Point Installations
As part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s work with BP Pulse, a project to install 96 new charge points is nearing completion. These residential charge points are spread over 12 sites, including The Baulk Car Park, The Baulk, Biggleswade, SG18 0PU.
The project was supported by £360,000 of grant funding secured through the Government’s On-Street Residential Charge Point Scheme. This complements the work being undertaken to meet the Government’s targets on transport decarbonisation and net-zero, and seeks to address one of the objectives in the Council’s Sustainability Plan.
The Council’s residential charge point rollout seeks to:
- Provide access to local charge points for residents who do not have dedicated off-street parking, therefore unlikely to have home charging facilities or might not feel comfortable transitioning to an electric vehicle
- Find sites within a 5 to 10 minute walk from resident’s homes
- Cater for existing and future demand without the need for further construction works and inconvenience on site
- Provide access to public charging in as many towns and villages as possible
- Balance the impact on existing parking at sites with the need to provide options for charging for local residents
Below are a series of frequently asked questions which provide more information on the charge points and the project.
For more information on electric vehicle charging please visit: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/sustainability
Who are the charge points for?
Anyone can use them, but their primary purpose is to provide access to local charge points within a 5 to 10 minute walk of The Baulk for residents who do not have dedicated off-street parking. Usually, these residents are unlikely to have home charging facilities or feel comfortable transitioning to an electric vehicle if there is nowhere to charge either at home, or near to home.
How many are being installed?
At all sites, 4 dual socket 7kw charge points are being installed over 8 parking bays. This caters for existing and future demand, and reduces the need for further construction works and inconvenience.
How long will it take to charge my vehicle?
Depending on the vehicle type and battery, these charge points should fully charge the average vehicle in 6-8 hours. These slower speeds are more suitable for residential use, particularly overnight charging.
When can I use the charge points?
The charge points are available 24/7, with 4 bays dedicated as ‘EV Only’ and the remaining available to all vehicles to limit the impact on existing parking provision. If you are using any of the bays to charge a vehicle, then there is a 6-hour maximum stay between 8.30am-5.30pm, to allow the bays to be available for other drivers to use. Outside of these hours when residents will likely be charging overnight, there is no maximum stay. Signage is being installed to display the relevant parking restrictions on site.
How much will it cost to use the charge points?
The charge points are operated and managed by BP Pulse, with pricing set as per their national tariffs. There are different rates available depending on whether you are using PAYG or their membership scheme. There is no fee to using the parking space.
Why have these sites been chosen to host charge points?
The grant funding criteria stipulates that the land must be in local authority ownership and be accessible 24/7, which does limit the site options available to host this provision. The biggest constraint is the cost to connect to the electricity grid and the length of dig needed to get a point of connection, again limiting the number of sites that are viable for charge point installation through the grant funding. In addition, the chosen sites are located close to clusters of properties which do not have access to dedicated off-street parking, which forms part of the evidence required to support the application for grant funding.
Are there going to be other sites in my town/village?
The Council is always looking at potential sites to be able to provide charge point provision and working across several projects to do this. In some locations, this will be led by the private sector, however there is grant funding available to local authorities to be able to provide charge points in some of the more difficult locations, in order to provide fair access for residents across the area. The Council is also exploring the use of street light columns and pavement gullies to provide a suite of options for charging, as well as advancing proposals to provide rapid charge points in some towns and along main transport routes. There is a requirement to have a variety of charging types and speeds as there is not one solution that works for every need.