Skip to main content

Electric Vehicle Charging Network Powers Forward

05 December 2023

Work to create an electric vehicle charging network across the county is to power forward, after receiving the backing of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee on Tuesday (5 December).

Benefitting from up to £5m in Local Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund, the Council is working with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to ensure that cleaner and greener car travel can become the norm across the area.

An estimated 10,000 public electric vehicle charge point sockets (EVCP) will be needed across the County by 2030, as motorists choose electric vehicles over more polluting petrol and diesel cars. The sale of new petrol and diesel cars is set to be banned by government from 2035.

Most of these new EVCPs will need to be located on the public highway. This strategy outlines the form public and private on-street charging will take, the sort of off-street charge and parking spaces that should be created and how charge points can be put in at new developments to allow for roads to be adopted as public highway.

Currently, trailing charging cables across footways is not permitted in the county due to safety and Accessibility concerns. However, charging at home remains the most cost-effective way for EV car owners to power their vehicle. This is a particular issue within cities, where many households do not have off-road parking. Whilst there are technological alternatives to trailing cables across paths, there is currently no industry consensus around the best infrastructure to use. Any solution needs to consider important factors like maintenance, safety and liability.

Now the potential benefits and limitations of on-road electric vehicle charging will be explored as part of a pilot project which aims to assess the options available, whilst making sure paths remain safe for all.

There is considerable interest across the private sector in installing EVCPs in the area, so the policy also outlines requirements for licensing and decommissioning arrangements, as well as other key areas including design and accessibility. By 2035, it is anticipated that there will be over 2.7m disabled drivers using UK roads. Licenses are needed for any works to the highway, known as Section 50 licenses, these can only be granted by the County Council as the local highways authority.

Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee, Councillor Alex Beckett said: “Transport accounts for 27% of Cambridgeshire’s carbon footprint, with car use contributing over half of these emissions. Electric vehicles are a cleaner and greener alternative to traditional motoring and are a key part of our transition to a Net Zero county by 2045.

“Working out what EVCPs we need and where is critical to make private car travel more sustainable – particularly for those who cannot travel by bike or on foot.”

Officers will now develop a plan informed by technical mapping and seek public engagement to find suitable EVCP locations. They will report back to the Highways and Transport committee in March, prior to a decision by the Environment and Green Investment Committee later in 2024.