Five local authorities in the Midlands have received funding from the UK Government to boost several EV charging points. Quadrant Transport explores how the region is amplifying connectivity and sustainability through EVs.
Back in June, five local authorities, led by Lincolnshire County Council and Midlands Connect, submitted a joint bid for £935,355 in government funding. The successful bid has been made in association with Herefordshire Council, Leicestershire County Council, Rutland County Council, and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
In total, the bid will fund 322 standard and 27 rapid EV charging points across the Midlands and is expected to attract an additional £2.8 million of private sector investment.
Locations for the extra charging points are targeted towards areas with a low amount of off-street parking and the five Midlands-based local authorities have led a successful bid to get more chargers set up for on-street convenience.
Local Authorities Will Be Helped With Identifying New EV Charging Locations
Quadrant Transport spoke to Bharat Pathania, Technical Innovation Lead at Midlands Connect about how the company is benefiting the Midlands region and contributing to the UK reaching its net zero targets: “Midlands Connect is a Sub-national Transport Body which researches, develops and progresses strategic transport projects, bringing forward priority investments to benefit the Midlands region, its people and businesses.”
Bharat revealed that to meet the charging requirements of a growing fleet, an average of 10 new charging points need to be installed every day, this is expressed in an analysis by Midlands Connect which found that the Midlands needs 17,461 new public EV charging points by the end of 2025 to meet the needs of the growing EV market.
He said: “That represents six times as many charging points as currently. Midlands Connect is establishing an ‘EV Forum’, bringing together the public and private sectors to improve charging provision, and working with Distribution Network Operators to discuss how we can overcome limits to local grid capacity.”
In addition to this, to support local authorities, Midlands Connect has created an EV tool: “We have also created an EV tool, to help local authorities identify the best places to install new EV charging infrastructure, and working alongside the Department for Transport to position the Midlands as a test bed for the accelerated delivery of charging points.”
We are also developing Midlands-wide business cases to roll out EV infrastructure and attract private sector funding through economies of scale.
An Influx Of Jobs Will Be Created Through Installations Of The EV Chargers
Bharat expressed that seeing a shift to EVs is essential and the benefits of purchasing an EV are numerous: “Unlike conventional vehicles they have no exhaust pipe and do not emit any dangerous gases such as carbon dioxide or nitrous oxides, reducing pollution and improving air quality for local communities, as well as being considerably cheaper to power.
“Charging an EV in public costs approximately 58 per cent less than filling a car with petrol, while at-home charging is, even more, cost-effective. EVs are also exempt from most congestion charges and road tax.”
Although uptake has steadily increased, there is still a long way to go.
Another benefit of seeing the shift to EVs is that estimates revealed by Midlands Connect currently suggest that the installation and maintenance of electric vehicle charging points will create an influx of jobs in the region with over 42,000 related roles set to be created in the Midlands by the end of 2032.
The Public Need To Be Reassured About EV Potential
To see the transition to EVs, Bharat said that people must have their confidence boosted: “Research conducted last year by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders found that a lack of affordability and worries about where to charge were the main factors that put consumers off purchasers.
“We need a sustained effort to improve charging infrastructure to drive and meet the demand of a growing cohort of EV drivers. We recognise public charging infrastructure has an important part to play in reassuring the public.”
By seeing more EV charging points implemented throughout the Midlands, the region will be able to amplify connectivity and sustainability, and contribute to the wider UK reaching its net zero targets.