Agenda item

Electric Vehicle Charging - Verbal Update

Verbal update from the Director of Communities Economy and Transport / Ian Glover, Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager.


15.1     The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager gave verbal update on the progress being made to install a network of public electric vehicle (EV) charging points across East Sussex. An initial study was undertaken with the Strategic Property Asset Collaboration in East Sussex (SPACES) Partnership with work centred around five key stages:

  • Context Gathering
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Growth Forecasts
  • Site Identification & Prioritisation
  • Routes to Delivery

15.2     The work has taken a multi-step process to identify potential on-street and mixed hub locations for EV charging points. This has looked at information from a range of sources including Census data to identify areas of housing (such as terraced houses and flats) which do not have off-street parking, and existing charge point locations. This resulted in the identification of 52 priority on-street charging areas covering more than 350 streets, and 51 feasible sites for charging hubs (including the County Hall public car park).

15.3     Following the identification of the initial list of sites, consultation was undertaken with the District and Borough councils and UK Power Networks to further refine the list of locations taking into account factors such as:

  • Where off-street parking is not available
  • Proximity to existing available charging infrastructure
  • Power supply
  • Pavement widths and location of existing street furniture

15.4     As a result, more than 280 potential locations have been identified that are able to host over 2,000 charging points to provide good coverage across the county. A final assessment of the locations will be undertaken by the provider once they have been procured. The network of on-street charging points will be in addition to the EV charging facilities being provided by the District and Borough councils as well as those on private property such as supermarkets, rail stations, petrol station forecourts and privately run car parks.

15.5     Funding has been secured through the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme and East Sussex has secured an allocation of £4.441million in funding flowing an expression of interest application that was made in March 2023. East Sussex is in tranche 1 and will be paid 90% of the funding in 2023/24 after submitting a second stage business plan application by the end of November 2023. The other 10% will be released after approval of the procurement contract with the provider. In addition £586,000 enabling funding has been provided by the Government to pay for project management resources and support for the procurement and implementation of the project.

15.6     The are two options for the operating model for the delivery of the charging point network:

  • A concession model – which has less financial risk, as the operational risk is with the concession who is responsible for operating and maintaining the network of charge points.
  • Own and operate model – this is where the operation costs rest with the local authority and there is likely to be a higher financial risk.

15.7     The intention is to procure the EV charging point network as a concession during 2023/24 with a 12 - 30 month delivery timescale commencing in quarter 1 or quarter 2 of 2024/25. This will deliver around 2,000 charging points and 10 rapid charge hubs at an estimated cost of delivery of £9 million (approximately £4 million from LEVI finding and £5million private sector investment). There will be an ‘open book’ agreement with the concession where information on costs and income is shared. The draft EV charge point strategy will also be included in the supporting information for the draft Local Transport Plan, which will go out to public consultation later in the year.

15.8     The Committee discussed the update and asked if it would be possible to have a copy of the presentation. A summary of the discussion and points raised is given below.

EV charging network capacity

15.9     The Committee asked about the capacity of the proposed charging network infrastructure and how the number of charging points relate to the number of electric vehicles on the road. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager responded that the proposed network would provide around 60% of the capacity required, but the recent Government announcement on moving back the deadline for the cessation of sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035 may have an impact on the uptake of electric vehicles and providers’ decisions about investment.


15.10   The Committee asked if there was an indication of the pricing that will be used by the concession, because if it is too high it may act as a barrier to people switching to electric vehicles, especially as charging at home can be relatively cheap. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager outlined that there had been no indication of the price per kilowatt hour as yet, but the open book agreement will mean that ESCC will have some influence over tariffs.

Cable channels across the pavement

15.11   The Committee understands that other local authorities (e.g. Oxford) have been looking at the use of cable channels across the pavement to allow residents to plug in their cars to charge them from their home where they have no off-street parking, and asked if this is something ESCC is exploring. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager explained that this is not something that ESCC has looked at yet but could conduct some trials. There is no funding to implement this, but a scheme similar to where residents request and pay for dropped kerbs could be explored.

Rapid Chargers

15.12   The Committee understands that most of the on-street provision will be slower 7 kilowatt hour charging points which will need a connection to the grid. It asked what the planned provision is for rapid charging that could be used by tourists and other user groups such as taxis who need rapid chargers. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager responded that the provision of 10 high speed charging hubs will address this need. Each rapid charge point site will have four sockets and each socket can service six to eight vehicles a day. 

Charging technology

15.13   It was clarified that the proposed network will be focussed on delivering value for money at scale and will use existing technologies. There is some standardisation of connectors and adapters are available to ensure the charging points are compatible with most electric vehicles. There is some work taking place to explore utilising alternative power sources such as solar and as charging and battery technology changes the Council can consider this at a later date. The Committee observed that the later date for phasing out new petrol and diesel vehicles may reduce the demand for EVs and increase prices, which may affect the market and predictions about EV use.

Location of on-street charging points

15.14   The Committee identified that this will be a key issue and asked if the impact on the public realm and on-street parking had been considered and whether there is any work to combine locations with car share clubs and e-bike charging. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager outlined that the team have talked to car clubs, taxi operators and the District and Borough councils about the location of charging points and the rapid charging hubs which would serve car clubs and taxis. In terms of the public realm, there will be some additional infrastructure needed at the kerbside for charging points and infrastructure will be shared where possible. The use of road offsets is also being considered. Some Committee members urged the team not to take up road space unnecessarily with charging points and highlighted that there may be concerns about the impact on on-street parking and the public realm which will need to be considered carefully. The Committee suggested that the impact on the public realm (e.g. parking policy, link to public transport, cycle storage etc.) is something that should be included in any future report.

15.15   The Committee asked what consideration there had been of providing charging points in off-street locations such as community centres etc. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager outlined that the focus of the project had been on on-street locations where there is no other provision or off-street parking available. The team is happy to explore other potential sites such as community centres with the District and Borough councils.

15.16   The Committee asked about the availability of information about the location of charging points. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project Manager responded that the team has been looking at information portals that provide information about charge point locations. The project also has its own directory of charge point locations in East Sussex and is developing an East Sussex app showing charge point locations which is part of the funding that has been allocated.

15.17   The Committee RESOLVED to note the verbal update.