In 2030 the sale of new petrol motor vehicles will be banned, as the UK moves to decarbonisation of the transport system. Therefore it is crucial that the UK builds up its electric public charging infrastructure now. Local authorities have an important role to play, but the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) say the roll-out of charging points has been “slow and patchy”. And in Bromley we are well behind other local authorities, with less than half as many as other outer London boroughs.
In 2021, the UK had approximately 44000 public connectors, serving about 300,000 electric and 300,000 hybrid cars on the road. The Office of National Statistics estimate the national number of electric and hybrid cars (EV) will increase to 18 million by 2030. In Bromley the Council estimates there will be over 100,000 EVs by 2030.
Currently there are 76 publicly accessible charging points in Bromley of which only 42 are on street or in public car parks. The Council is aware of the increasing number of requests for charging points particularly from residents who do not have driveways – and, as a policy direction, the Council seems to be keen on the idea of “gully charging” – which allows the Council to install a charging point but the cost of installation to be funded by the resident.
So how many more public charging points will be needed? The CMA suggests UK will need 250,000 but the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders think the number is closer to 2 million: so there is a wide range of views. It is not only the number which is important but the speed at which the point can deliver the charge to the car.
Central government has provided a £300 million grant for 75% of the installation costs but finding the remaining 25% of the cost and the right sites is down to the local authority. It takes a hero at a local council to take a lead on this.
Bromley Lib Dems has led on monitoring air quality in Bromley and will strongly support efforts to increase the number of EV charging points in Bromley – this will make it easier for Bromley residents to make the decision to switch to EV transport and improve the air quality in our suburb. Local candidate Rick Das said: “Bromley is falling behind with only half as many EV charging points per 100,000 people compared to all other outer London boroughs.”