Solihull Council works to expand EV charging network

Solihull Council works to expand EV charging network

SWARCO Smart Charging, a supplier of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, has been working with Solihull Council to expand the borough’s EV charging network. In the most recent wave of expansion, 23 SWARCO charge points have been installed and switched to provide EV charging at 56 public parking bays across the borough.

Charging points have now been installed across the borough, including in Shirley, Knowle, Olton, Silhill, Blythe, Lyndon, Elmdon, Dorridge and Smiths Wood. Three dual-socket chargers have been installed at the Council House, which are available to members of the public on evenings and weekends. The recent project also included another nine dual-socket chargers being switched back on in the north of the borough.

The locations were carefully selected based on where there is existing demand and where future demand for EVs is anticipated. They were also chosen with consideration for residents who do not have access to a private driveway and should benefit from the opportunity to park and charge an electric vehicle near their home.

The widespread adoption of electric vehicles is a key part of the Council’s Electric Vehicle Strategy, and it has been investing significantly in its charging infrastructure to get ahead of the transition.

What's more, there seems to be real momentum growing across the borough for ultra-low emission vehicles, with the number of plug-in vehicles licensed in Solihull rising each quarter, according to data from the Department of Transport – in Q1 2021 there were 8,688 plug-in vehicles licensed, compared to 3,409 in the first quarter of last year. This is being facilitated and supported by the Council with new infrastructure that offers EV drivers convenient, efficient and affordable charging options. Prices have been set at £0.25p per kilowatt for the first year.

“We are pleased to work with councils like Solihull who are committed to delivering reliable, convenient and affordable charging,” said Justin Meyer, Managing Director of SWARCO Smart Charging.

“Taking a collaborative approach will help the Council to get their ULEV strategy right as demand grows. Finding the right locations is also essential and really makes the difference, which is evident in the user data which shows the new charging points are already having a positive impact for EV drivers.

“We hope the growing number of charging options across Solihull will give more and more people the confidence to choose electric and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.”

Solihull Council’s approach has also included ongoing engagement with residents to assess demand for EV charging points and how infrastructure should be rolled out to other parts of the borough in the future.

“As electric vehicles start to become the ‘norm’, we want play our part, as a council, in facilitating this transition. I’m thrilled that this latest roll out is providing opportunities to residents in a variety of accommodation types to be able to charge their electric vehicle locally and efficiently. Schemes like this are all about removing barriers to sustainable greener travel,” said Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Planning & Housing.

“We know that 39% of carbon emissions in the borough are from transport with road transport accounting for nearly all of this. Investing in high quality EV infrastructure can play an important part in helping us achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2041, in line with our emerging Net Zero Action Plan.”

Olly Goodall

Author:Olly Goodall
Date Updated:15th Sep 2021

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