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County Councillors Urged to Press Ahead with EV Charging Points Rollout

Published on: 21 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 22 Jan, 2022

Electric car charging

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

Surrey councillors are being urged to meet a demand for 10,000 electric vehicle charge points in the county by 2030.

There are currently only about 600 in Surrey, so a timely roll-out on a large scale is considered “critical” if the county council is to meet its climate change target of achieving net-zero by 2050 in Surrey.

With just eight years until the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is banned, Surrey council proposes leasing car park land to a private-sector provider to install and maintain the electric vehicle (EV) charge points, front all the capital costs and set tariffs.

Cllr Stephen Cooksey (Lib Dem, Dorking South and the Holmwoods) said: “I do have questions about adopting a private sector business model, because we have had a lot of experience of long-term contracts with the private sector which haven’t worked very well so far as the county’s concerned.”

KPMG researched business models in 2020 but today (January 21), communities, environment and highways select committee members were annoyed the report had not been shared with them and said they had insufficient information to decide on the best one.

Katie Stewart, executive director for environment, transport and infrastructure, tried to persuade them of the urgency. She said: “EV infrastructure is critical for us to be able to deliver our climate change delivery plan.

“The reality is that if we don’t do something quite different from what we have been doing before, we will not meet our climate change target.

“Will we be able to meet the very ambitious target of 16 to 31 per cent carbon reduction in transport emissions by 2025?

“Without mechanisms like this we won’t be able to, and the mechanism that we’re putting forward here actually does mitigate the risk to the authority in respect of changing technology and allows us that flexibility to be able to move with demand.

“If we wait for perfect information on this, it will be too late.”

About one-fifth of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cars and vans.

Jonathan James, the council’s zero-emission vehicle project manager, said: “During November last year there were more electric vehicles sold than diesel cars.

“It needs to be widely recognised as necessary: it’s not an option, it’s something that is in fact happening.”

He said there are 10 times more electric vehicles on Surrey’s roads now than in 2015.

Councillor Jordan Beech (Con, Horley East) said: “None of us wants to delay anything but it’s obviously quite integral we get it correct for a 15-year contract.”

Councillors warned there would be conflict between those wanting to charge their cars and those just looking to park.

John Furey (Con, Addlestone) said EV charge points had been allocated for two of 29 parking spaces on a main shopping street in his Runnymede borough.

“In a small road, with no off-street parking,” he said. “We’ve moved them and said, we don’t want them there.”

The committee deferred making a recommendation until February 7 and the SCC Cabinet should make a decision on February 22. The council was hoping to appoint a provider by September 2022.

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Responses to County Councillors Urged to Press Ahead with EV Charging Points Rollout

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    January 21, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Would be nice to know when the pylons will be upgraded and which new power station will be providing the electricity for all these outlet points.

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