Rossendale Free Press

QUESTION OF CHARGING

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I WAS very interested to read Coun Peter Steen (December 11) express doubts as to Rossendale Borough Council’s plans to enable drivers to charge their electric vehicles when new petrol and diesel cars are banned in 2030.

To quote him: “...the question is, if they can’t park outside their own home how can they charge their cars?”

I disagree. I think the question is “what advice and support is central government giving to local councils to enable them to carry out this plan?”

I could add “Why was this question not dealt with by central government before the ban was announced?”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully in favour of bringing down the price of electric vehicles, hopefully ending the production of the ridiculous­ly fuel-greedy SUVs to make our roads clearer and safer, encouragin­g people to buy electric vehicles and enabling them to charge them.

So I wrote to Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, to ask this very question as soon as the ban was announced on November 18.

After a wait of four weeks I finally got his reply: “The On-street Residentia­l Chargepoin­t Scheme (ORCS) provides grant funding for local authoritie­s installing on-street residentia­l chargepoin­ts for plug-in electric vehicles. The Government has doubled the funding for ORCS this year to £20 million to ensure more local authoritie­s and residents can benefit from the scheme.”

My first impression is that £20 million won’t go very far. Looking more closely at Mr Shapps’ answer we see a different figure for those who don’t face this problem:

“The Government support installati­ons of chargepoin­ts at people’s homes though [sic] our Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme. The scheme provides up to

£350 towards the purchase and installati­on of a chargepoin­t. Residents of flats that have a dedicated parking space and meet the terms and conditions of the scheme are eligible for the grant.”

In other words, as I see it, if you can afford a drive or parking place ON your property, you can get up to £350 towards your costs. This called for a quick calculatio­n: if the cost of providing charging facilities to those WITHOUT a drive were also £350, how many properties could be helped? £20,000,000 divided by 350 = 57.143.

I have no idea how many houses in the country have no drive or car parking spot, but I would hazard a guess that in Lancashire alone we could find that many.

And in Rossendale? Maybe 10% of that figure?

So to address councillor Steen’s question, in order to supply sufficient on-street Charging points, Rossendale Borough Council would have to bid for 10% of the entire country’s allowance.

We then get into the North-South divide, where a terraced house in the South East, of which there are many thousands, costs many times as much as the same sized house in Rossendale. It’s my guess

Shapps consider the problem?

Geoff Blow Edenfield

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