Walsall Council has been successful in securing £254k of grant funding from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) as part of their On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) programme. This funding will be supported by £85k of match funding from the Council in order to deliver approximately 35 chargepoints across the borough. These chargepoints will be located in residential areas, allowing households without off-street parking to charge electric vehicles while their vehicle is at home. The council is asking residents for their views on the possible siting of the chargepoints in an online survey.
The chargers are expected to be used mostly for overnight charging, with a power of 7kW (see table below). Currently around 80% of all EV charging takes place at home, showing the critical importance of residential charging to the adoption of EVs.
These initial installations are part of delivering the Black Country Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) Strategy which was consulted on in 2020. This bid is part of a larger Black Country ORCS bid securing £1.15m of grant funding, to deliver approximately 317 chargepoints at 158 locations across the region. Further installations will continue over the coming years, aiming to meet targets identified in the ULEV strategy of 761 Standard, 214 Fast and 19 Rapid and Ultra-Rapid chargers across the Black Country, in order to provide our residents with a chargepoint within 500m of 95% of the Black Country.
Uptake of electric vehicles is already on a steep upward trajectory, exceeding 25% of new car sales in December 2021, but the Black Country is currently lagging behind the national averages for uptake. Lack of publicly available chargers is repeatedly cited as one of the key reasons for not switching to electric vehicles, so it is incredibly important that we increase the numbers of chargepoints available to residents across the region.
Deputy Leader of Walsall Council, Cllr Adrian Andrew said:
“The transition away from petrol and diesel vehicles is a key component of meeting the Council’s climate targets, as well as helping to improve air quality. The ULEV strategy also stresses the importance of transitioning the council’s own fleet away from combustion engines, as well as measures to reduce the overall number of vehicles in the region and the number of miles they cover which includes encouraging more walking, cycling and use of public transport.”
The chargepoints will be operated by a third-party chargepoint operator (CPO) who will collect the fees for usage from customers. The operator will be selected through a competitive process to ensure best value for residents.
Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation can log on to www.walsall.gov.uk/EVcharging-consultation