Authorities 'must take action' to ensure electric vehicle charging points in place

West Yorkshire local authorities must take action to ensure  infrastructure is in place for charging electric vehicles when ‘fossil fuel’ options start to be phased out, says a senior councillor.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 1:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 1:14 pm

With just eight years to go before the Government’s commitment to banning the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles comes into force, work in the county and the borough to consider infrastructure issues needs to speed up, said Calderdale Council Cabinet member for Climate Change and Resilience, Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot).

Calderdale officers were working with West Yorkshire counterparts on a low emission strategy aiming to pull together how all these issues will be tackled.

But Calderdale like other local authorities is very, very different in terms of topography, including questions like are lamp posts, possible homes for charging points, at the front or back of pavements.

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Electric charging points

Coun Colin Hutchinson (Lab, Skircoat) had raised the issue of what infrastructure might be put in place given only one in four houses in the UK had a driveway but trickle charging from domestic supply is the cheapest way of recharging those cars and did not require redesigning the national grid.

He also lamented a Government decision to reduce grants to purchase new plug-in electric vehicles, which have reached one in five sales.

“What strategy might be developed in Calderdale to make it possible for all home owners, not just those with driveways to enjoy the benefits of greatly reduced running costs that come with electric cars, improve local air quality and help us deliver net zero by 2038?” said Coun Hutchinson.

Councils certainly had a role to play in finding solutions, said Coun Patient, although in West Yorkshire local authorities are all at different points in their journey.

They could not wait for existing industries to get to grips with the change in practices.

“So many industries think councils should do nothing and just wait for the sector to catch up and deliver things.

“To me that is wrong and we need to be doing everything we should at this point in time to go further,” he said.

This included considering options including destination charging and mobility hubs, and in terms of charging at home whether this was something the council wanted to see for every single house in Calderdale or different solutions in different places.

Either way, action needed to be taken quickly, said Coun Patient.

“A lot more needs to happen on this – 2030 isn’t that far away,” he said.

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