Rapid EV charging rolled out across West Yorkshire
A network of 88 rapid charging points for electric vehicles is being installed across West Yorkshire as part of the local authority's drive to improve air quality in the region.
The £3m scheme will see charging points added each week until the end of the year with the first going live in Bradford this week.
Each site will have two bays and be free to use until the end of October 2021. One bay will be exclusively for taxis and private hire vehicles with the other available to the general public. The technology used at the charge points will enable vehicles to potentially be fully charged in under an hour.
The programme is a collaboration between West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partner local authorities including Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield councils. The cash for the scheme has come from a successful bid to the government’s £2m Office for Low Emission Vehicles with Leeds-based Engie installing and operating the new charge points. Match funding from the combined authority to the tune of a further £1.2m has enabled the project to be scaled up to 88 points.
Brakes on charging
It follows the news that a large number of councils have put the brakes on installing rapid charging points. More than 100 local councils say they have no plans to increase the number of charging points they offer, according to Freedom of Information requests to the Liberal Democrats. Of the 301 councils that responded to the FoI requests, 107 said they had no plan to increase the number of charging points, 122 had a plan in place to increase the number, and 62 said they were taking steps to increase the number without having a formal plan to do so. Eight said they had no appropriate locations for installing new charging points.
Campaigners and politicians fear this could hinder the expansion of the UK’s electric fleet. The 88 put in place across West Yorkshire adds to the only 500 rapid charging points across the country.
Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee Cllr Manisha Kaushik said the move followed the local authority’s commitment to tackle the global climate emergency and was “an important step towards achieving our aims.”
Nicola Lovett, CEO of ENGIE UK and Ireland said: “These charge points will play a key role in tackling air pollution and creating a greener, cleaner place for people who live and work in West Yorkshire.
Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, Cllr Sarah Ferriby, added: “As part of our Low Emissions Strategy, we want to encourage residents and businesses in Bradford to consider switching to electric vehicles, and one of the best ways to do this is to make it convenient and free for people to access charge points.
“We are determined to increase our commitment to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint while staying at the forefront of new ultra-low emission technology.”