A partnership between two Northamptonshire Councils has led to the provision of a new portfolio of on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, owned and operated by Liberty Charge, and delivered using its strategic partner Virgin Media O2.
The portfolio includes 82 residential, on-street EV charging sockets across seven locations in West Northamptonshire and seven in North Northamptonshire. The move helps the Councils support the UK Government target to ensure a transition from fossil fuels to electric power by 2030, when the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned.
With a fully-funded solution, Liberty Charge is entirely responsible for the charging infrastructure’s operation and maintenance, leaving the council with no liabilities associated with infrastructure, power or maintenance.
Residential, on-street locations have been chosen to address the EV charging needs of those who do not have access to a driveway, or any other means of privately charging their vehicles.
Two charging points have been installed at each site, to serve up to four vehicles at a time. The chargers are 22kW Fast Chargers, which can fully charge a single car from empty in three hours. Initially, two bays will be dedicated to EV charging, while the other two can be used for either electric vehicle charging or general parking.
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC)’s seven Northampton sites include: Oakwood Road; Upper Thrift Street; Ardington Road; Semilong Road; Barry Road; St James’ Park Road; and Vicarage Road.
Councillor Phil Larratt, WNC’s Cabinet member for the environment, highways, transport and waste, says on-street, residential EV charging infrastructure is crucial for encouraging residents to go electric:
“Giving our residents the confidence to choose clean green transport is an important step in our vision to be carbon neutral by 2030. Achieving that confidence is about providing convenience and reliability. And with climate goals in place, and growing EV ownership, it has to be now.”
North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) new residential EV charging locations include Newman Street; Highfield Road; York Road; Knox Road; Castle Road; Telford Way; and Linnell Way covering the towns of Higham Ferrers, Thrapston, Rushden, Wellingborough and Kettering. More locations are to be installed during 2022.
Councillor Graham Lawman, NNC’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets, says Liberty Charge’s charge point ownership model acted as an enabler for the council:
“These are the first on-street EVCPs to be delivered in the area. Only about 9% of Electric Vehicles are owned by people with no off-street parking against there being about 30% of properties in that situation, so, to catch up, it is vital that we progress kerbside charging points like this to enable all drivers the opportunity to charge their cars locally to them and overnight.
“With all installation, power and maintenance costs, as well as logistics, managed by Liberty Charge, liability, risk and hassle is taken away from us, enabling us to concentrate on other green initiatives. The funding from Innovate UK means the project has been delivered at no cost to the Council; a win-win situation.”
Neil Isaacson, Liberty Charge CEO, explains the significance of the Northamptonshire Councils’ installations:
“It’s fantastic to be helping Councils achieve their Clean Air goals, and demonstrate the benefits of the Liberty Charge fully-funded model. Having Virgin Media O2 as our strategic delivery partner puts us in an excellent position to roll out local authority EV charging networks at pace right across the UK as we head towards our 2030 deadline.”
Funded by Innovate UK and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, the Virgin Park and Charge (VPACH) project was supported by West and North Northamptonshire Councils, helping them to act as facilitators and enablers. As the Councils required a delivery option which provided both scale and speed, but minimised disruption and dig, their needs aligned to Liberty Charge’s reach and capabilities.