Electric vehicle charging strategy for York revealed

 

City of York Council is set to introduce a new electric vehicle (EV) charging strategy which will transform and accelerate EV take up across the city.

A report detailing the proposal will be taken to a public Executive meeting on 19 March for approval.

This follows the authority declaring a climate change emergency in 2019 and approving plans to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

If approved, the council will introduce Fast EV chargepoints to at least a minimum of five per cent of all its long stay parking bays in council owned car parks by 2023.

This will cost circa £800,000 and will be subject to successful external funding bids and reviewed as part of the development of the Local Transport Plan later this year.

To complement the enhanced fast charger network the council is also developing two Hyper Hub sites which will provide state of the art rapid and ultra-rapid facilities. Subject to securing further external funding, a third site is also being developed.

A part of the proposals will be to ensure it offers an equal opportunity for all users (with on street and off street parking) and to ensure that tariffs are set at a fair rate.

The current tariff of 15 p/kWh, hasn’t been revised since it was set in 2013, so a key element of the strategy is to review the tariff price point.

The council’s proposed tariff approach will take into account increases in electricity and running costs to ensure that the network is financially sustainable. During 2020/2021 it is proposed to increase the tariff to 20 p/kWh for fast chargers and 25 p/kWh for rapid and ultra-rapid chargers. All new rapid and ultra-rapid units will allow bank card payments for the same 25 p/kWh fee.

Regular users will have the option of signing up to a subscription Network where they will pay a monthly fee in return for lower usage tariffs.

Tariffs will be reviewed every year and electricity supplying the chargepoints will be part of the council’s energy contract which purchases renewable energy.

New conditions will also be introduced to ensure that users of EV bays are using them principally to charge their vehicles. Enforcement action could be taken where a vehicle is using a bay and is not plugged into the charging point. Time limits could also be imposed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the opportunities the strategy will bring to residents and visitors in York?

  • The council owns and operates a number of car parks within the city providing ideal locations for ‘Fast’ charging
  • We are developing next generation 150 kW ultra-rapid HyperHubs at strategic locations to provide the shortest possible recharging times for compatible electric vehicles.
  • Thanks to funding from Office of Low Emission Vehicles and European Regional Development Fund which largely covers the cost of building our first two HyperHub sites, and an innovative design including on site solar electricity generation and energy storage
  •  we will be able to maintain a lower tariff than commercial operators for Ultra Rapid chargers
  • We are committed to providing competitive tariffs for recharging by keeping the tariff as low as possible
  • We are well placed to consider the location, type and number of chargepoints in the context of current and future development plans
  • We will deliver a network that complements commercial networks to provide choice and scale of charging options within York.
  • By providing a first class charging network we will encourage Plug-in Hybrid and EV uptake providing Climate Change and Local Air Quality benefits.

What type of chargers are there?

  • There are different types of chargers that suit different charging demands. Fast chargers are suitable for all day charging. We put these in long stay car parks as this is where people are parked for several hours. We have 40 Fast charging bays in York. We need more of these. Fast chargers can be used by pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars.
  • Rapid chargers are for pure electric cars. Plug-in hybrid cars can’t use Rapid chargers. Rapid chargers will charge a pure electric car in 30 – 90 minutes. We have 5 Rapid chargers in York.
  • Ultra-Rapid chargers are a new type with higher power output. New electric cars can increasingly use ultra-rapid chargers, so they are needed to support the next generation of EV’s to recharge as quickly as possible which will encourage more people to buy EV’s. These can charge a pure electric car 3 times faster than a Rapid.
  • We have an OLEV/ERDF project in York to build 2 charging hubs with Ultra-Rapid chargers – we call these HyperHubs. We have the funding for these sites secured and have gone out to tender to build them. We need extra funding to deliver a third site.

Will the council network be the only option I have for public charging?

No, we see the role of the council’s network as providing a core service that guarantees EV charging facilities are available to support the ambitions of this strategy whilst maintaining the ability to set as low a tariff as possible.

We aren’t setting out to be the only provider of charging facilities in York. We think this would be bad for consumer choice, and it would limit the rate at which charge points could be added, holding back EV uptake.

We are supportive of commercial networks and have seen investment from several operators including Rapid chargers from Polar Network and Instavolt and Fast chargers on the Zero Net, LiFe, PodPoint and Tesla Destination networks.

These are welcome additions and support consumer choice, geographical spread and enhanced rollout rates. Commercial operators will continue to be free to set their own tariffs to support their businesses cases to roll out additional charge points as fast as possible.

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