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Government scheme to fund electric car charging points falls flat after just five councils apply for cash and £150k handed out

January 12, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Steve B


From BusinessGreen:



Government writes to councils after only five apply for money from electric vehicle infrastructure funding pot, leaving more than £4.5m still available

The government has urged councils across the UK to make the most of a funding pot for electric vehicle charge points after an "extremely disappointing" take up.

Only five councils have applied for money from the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme over the past 12 months, the government revealed today.

The Department for Transport (DfT) launched the scheme in December 2016, with £1.5m available to help local authorities with the costs of new electric vehicle infrastructure. A further £4.5m was added to the pot in November 2017.

Councils can apply for money to cover up to 75 per cent of the costs of buying and installing either entirely new charge points, up to £7,500 per chargepoint, or funding other systems such as adapting existing street lampposts to enable car charging.

However, only a handful of authorities have come forward for funding that could potentially help fund "thousands" of extra charge points and encourage the wider uptake of electric vehicles across the country, the government said.

Switching to electric road transport could help reduce carbon emissions as well as tackling air quality, but the lack of interest in the funding scheme meant "people up and down the country are being denied the opportunity to take advantage of the technology", the Ministers warned in a letter to council leaders.

The funding scheme was set up because, while householders with garages or driveways can install their own EV chargepoints, around a third of homes in England do not have off-street parking, making it much harder for these residents to charge overnight.

But of the five councils lodging funding applications – Portsmouth, Kensington & Chelsea, Cambridge, Luton and Kettering – only the first two have so far been given the green light for funding, accounting for around 110 charge points and roughly £150,000 funding from the pot, according to the DfT.

The government’s letter, from climate change and industry minister Claire Perry and transport minister Jesse Norman, urged councils to consider applying to the funding scheme.

"We are in the early stages of an electric revolution in the UK transport sector, and connectivity is at its heart," said Norman in a statement. "Millions of homes in the UK do not have off-street parking, so this funding is important to help local councils ensure that all their residents can take advantage of this revolution."

But the Local Government Association’s (LGA) transport spokesman Martin Tett hit back against the government, stressing that while councils were keen to support EV uptake, they alone shouldn’t have to take on the role of replacing petrol stations.

Tett, a Buckinghamshire county councillor, explained that councils are faced with numerous competing priorities and have endured significant budget cuts over the past decade. With that in mind, more detail was needed on a "long-term properly funded plan" for EV infrastructure rollout, he said. "Any new responsibilities to ensure there is sufficient electric car charging infrastructure must be matched with adequate funding," said Tett. "Long term this must be a role for the private sector."


For some strange reason, the government thought that local councils would like to waste taxpayers’ money on charging points!

Fortunately the councils appear to have a lot more sense than our glorious leaders in Westminster.

  1. Francis permalink
    January 12, 2018 7:25 pm

    “We are in the early stages of an electric revolution in the UK transport sector,…”

    Apparently not!

    • January 12, 2018 9:54 pm

      Yes, we are. In the very very early stages where some unwashed distant relative of Baldrick sitting in his hut and scratching himself has just come up with a cunning plan.

      Like most of his tribe’s cunning plans this one is as full of holes as a ripe leerdammer, the biggest one being that the car owning public is voting with its feet and trotting down the road to sellers of the well-tried and tested internal combustion engine.

      Only the terminally misguided or the inveterate virtue-signaller believe that there is anything to be gained by switching from hydrocarbon to electricity for mass personal transport unless the plan is to install charging points every 10 metres along the hard shoulder of every motorway in the country.

      One of these days our blinkered politicians are going to discover the meaning of “holistic” in this regard, though be sure the eco-lobby will do its damnedest to see that they don’t. Only when the full costs and benefits of this (and virtually every other innovation) are accounted for will we get a truly level playing field and all viable alternatives competing fairly.

      • Dave Ward permalink
        January 12, 2018 10:06 pm

        “Some unwashed distant relative of Baldrick”

        I don’t think any of Blackadder’s compatriots were as stupid as the well paid clowns pushing this agenda…

      • Athelstan permalink
        January 13, 2018 12:17 am

        People like motor cars, big batteries with wheels are for virtue signalling aliens (Elon) and should remain a green wet dream or should I say infeasible – as is their won’t.

        In the red, white and blue.

        As I have said so often before Mike, this ‘brave new world’ the one we are forced to live in exists only through coercion and whether you want it or not – what you get is what the corporate/politico/societal engineers demand and thirst……Of course as and indeed as you so correctly observe, the average petrol head, diesel heads if you like, will resist the drive (ooops ;-O) to force tom, Dick and Jacinta, Ali into bubblehead cars.

        In the cartel corner.

        Be assured wot with the big German car giants, Swedish etc racing (there I go again!) to get into the EV market…………..In the dingiest black holes of Berlin-Bruxelles plans are being drawn up to arm twist the public and emissions limitation- legal stricture is, irresistably the means, method and end. Or they just make refined distilled crude oil sold on forecourts VAT rated 250% or think of a number.

        What remains to be speculated upon, is how the drivers of motor vehicular transport in the UK – are going to take this. My guess is that, and if the uptake of ‘smart’ meters is any indicator (oh no!), then, hoving into view there looks to be a clash of wills on the nearing horizon………

        Imho, it’s about time – too. People power, these deluded popinjays who think they are the Kratos need to be reminded about the growing unease nationwide with this ridiculously unequal politically inspired hubris (the green myth, big government is good, cultural Marxism in all of its multi-Hydra serpents), the idea that they are unassailable………… and with reference to the Demos are risking far more than mere displeasure of the people.

  2. January 12, 2018 7:57 pm

    Claire Perry is now Minister of State (Minister for Energy and Clean Growth). Previously she was Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry. I don’t think she has a clue about any of her responsibilities. According to George Monbiot, who was at college with her, she was “a firebrand who wanted to nationalise the banks and overthrow capitalism”. She obviously still retains her socialist instincts to tell us how to live our lives and to spend other peoples’ money on stupid political fantasies.

    • mikewaite permalink
      January 12, 2018 8:19 pm

      She is not just talking, she has put together a group to get round planning restrictions for on-shore wind farms ;

      You will soon be able to see her legacy everywhere.

      • January 12, 2018 8:27 pm

        Thanks Mike, that just confirms my worst fears about the woman.

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      January 12, 2018 8:50 pm

      What better place for a socialist than as part of a socialist government?

      • Green Sand permalink
        January 12, 2018 9:05 pm

        Yes. preferably in another country’s socialist government

      • Colin Brooks permalink
        January 13, 2018 11:11 am

        Green Sand:
        just in case I was not clear (happens a lot these days hehe) I meant to indicate that the Conservative party was a socialist party in a not very convincing disguise ^.^


    • January 12, 2018 10:38 pm

      Her latest tweet
      \\ The UK is a world leader in promoting clean growth
      and has reduced emissions on a per-person basis faster than any other G7 nation.
      We want to share the benefits around the world
      and help other countries do the same. #25YearEnvironmentPlan #GreenFuture //
      FFS that’s filled with FakeNews

  3. January 12, 2018 8:44 pm

    Our Council (Huntingdonshire DC) have put up two charge points in St Ives carpark – apparently costing rate payers £70,000. I’ve not seen them used in two years.

    • January 13, 2018 10:43 am

      Same in Bridport – they seem to do even less business than the Big Issue seller who has been outside Waitrose for at least eight years.

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    January 12, 2018 9:04 pm

    I’ve been told some electric car parking/charging spaces in Worthing were/are being removed because they are always empty and costing the owners money.

  5. January 12, 2018 9:54 pm

    for the last 2 years, everyday I pass an electric charge point
    that TAXPAYER money paid for
    one time a council vehicle was plugged in there
    They usually charge at the council depot
    I have never seen another car use either of the 2 points
    The media promote Green gimmicks and public pay the cost

    • January 13, 2018 12:50 pm

      It’s not a gimmick. The truth is, EV owners like us are always trying to tell the council that scattering chargers everywhere is a waste of time. We’ve never used a public charger – not once. In years. Tesla are the only ones with the right idea – chargers at motorway services that deliver a high speed. Nobody cares about slow town chargers when 99%of EV owners are privileged to have the ability to charge at home. These vehicles are far less practical for the 1/3rd of UK residents who have on street parking, a large chunk of whom do not even have reserved spaces.

  6. markl permalink
    January 12, 2018 10:12 pm

    If you cannot charge your EV at home overnight while parked there is no reason to buy one. These ‘public’ charging stations serve no purpose other than to offer an emergency refill for people that don’t pay attention to their charge level before setting out, underestimate their travel distance, or time wasted is not important. And they pay a premium over ICE vehicles for the privilege.

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 13, 2018 3:44 pm

      Exactly. People who can’t charge at home aren’t going to buy an EV in hopes of finding an available charging station. Even if one is nearby, you have no guarantee that someone else won’t get to it before you do.

  7. January 12, 2018 10:19 pm

    OK The Electric vehicle public relations people have been hard at work
    (I suspect but cannot prove, that they are connected to politics/media people running the DieselsRpaedos campaign)
    – Monday : ITV in its local news across the regions dropped in a EV promotion segment , which I know was connected to EV PR people
    – Thursday : BBC local news across each region ran a similar EV promotion segment
    – Coming Sunday : On the BBC Sunday Politics, at least one regional edition is planning an EV promotional segment
    – Thursday : BBC Radio4 8:30pm aired a 30 min prog promoting EVs (I mentioned it last week)
    I didn’t listen, but I have debunked the claims made in the blurb.

    – Typically each prog begins by falsely portraying Norway as loaded with electric cars.
    The truth pure electric sales seem to be static to falling as it’s actually hybrids that have overtaken then.
    Even then 95% of Norwegian cars seen conventional petrol/diesel cos people don’t keep buying new cars but rather run old ones for 18 years .
    My notes :

  8. January 12, 2018 10:21 pm

    The BBC lady claims that it’s lack of charging points that is hindering EV sales growth.

  9. Green Sand permalink
    January 12, 2018 10:21 pm

    Will they come fitted with ‘smart’ meters? Or are they the reason they are trying to impose ‘smart’ meters on the masses?

  10. January 12, 2018 10:55 pm

    My local council (Stockport) has just embarked on a project to resurface pavements in the borough. This is long overdue as Nynex (now Virgin Media) ripped them up with little regard for making the paving smart and safe again 20 odd years ago.
    I have no problem with the benefits the cabling has provided in that time but surely we could wind up back with the same mess in a few years as local electricity delivery has to be upgraded to cope with the charging capacity required for EVs (on road or off). Not that I think that will happen.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      January 13, 2018 10:42 am

      Virgin media recently did the same to all our paths: maybe a conspiracy to enable the streets to be dug-up for charging points. The councils are waiting for the government to fund these and might have a long wait!

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      January 13, 2018 10:36 pm

      Stockport Council will use any excuse to rip up roads and pavements just to cause congestion, it is in their blood. Just months ago, NICE told Councils not to put in any more speed humps but weeks ago up came Speed humps on Lisburne lane just by the Fire station. STUPID but that is what we get for our extortianate Council taxes.

      • Russ Wood permalink
        January 14, 2018 11:39 am

        Many years ago, when I worked at Avro in Woodford (probably under Stockport council), I was pleased to notice that the Woodford main road was being properly resurfaced. About a mile-and-a-half behind the resurfacing team came another team digging up the new road for goodness knows what! Ah, well – local government never seems to change!

  11. John permalink
    January 12, 2018 11:46 pm

    France is littered with them
    You can go to a remote village and find one, or two
    Usually with weeds and vegetation growing up them
    Complete waste of money
    They will never work if ever needed

  12. Stonyground permalink
    January 13, 2018 7:43 am

    Wouldn’t the money be better spent on electrifying the railways? Applying proven technology that is known to work to the alleged emissions problem would make far more sense.

    • dennisambler permalink
      January 13, 2018 11:02 am

      But where will the electricity come from?

      • Stonyground permalink
        January 13, 2018 11:34 am

        “But where will the electricity come from?”
        From nuclear power stations if there was any sanity involved. Otherwise from fossil fuels solar panels and windmills. It is almost as if these green types are only interested in “solutions” that are guaranteed not to work from the outset.

      • January 13, 2018 12:30 pm

        From power plants?

      • January 13, 2018 12:46 pm

        Stonyground why are you being derogatory about ‘green types?’ you use the term as if we’re all idiots which is not true – and somewhat unfair.

        The truth is that an electric car powered by dirty electricity is still cleaner than an internal combustion engine to operate. This isn’t green nonsense. This is scientifically backed. Under average annual mileage on the UK grid mix your typical electric car will break even with – and offset – it’s higher manufacturing impact within a few years.

        Another simple truth is that petrol is not an infinite resource, so it doesn’t hurt to be investing in alternatives as soon as possible.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        January 13, 2018 9:48 pm

        ” This isn’t green nonsense. This is scientifically backed.”

        Yeah, right.

        Just like AGW…

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 14, 2018 12:41 pm

        “The truth is that an electric car powered by dirty electricity is still cleaner than an internal combustion engine to operate.”

        What bizarre definition of “clean” are you using?

        “Another simple truth is that petrol is not an infinite resource, so it doesn’t hurt to be investing in alternatives as soon as possible.”

        Absolutely false. Spending today’s money on a problem generations out is insane. The NPV hurdle is extreme.

        “Stonyground why are you being derogatory about ‘green types?’ you use the term as if we’re all idiots which is not true – and somewhat unfair.”

        You have provided sufficient evidence to prove his case.

  13. James Simpson permalink
    January 13, 2018 8:02 am

    Surely the charge point manufacturers should take this up as a marketing opportunity

  14. Bitter@twisted permalink
    January 13, 2018 10:15 am

    Saw 3 new charging points in Kaprun, Austria, while I was on holiday over Xmas, just by the local supermarket. They were been used as normal parking bays, so I parked my 4×4 diesel in one.
    Not much use for EVs at minus 7C.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 13, 2018 12:00 pm

      Well done that man!

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 13, 2018 2:35 pm

      Ha! hank you for giving me a good hearty laugh – I love that sort of stuff, gently putting two fingers up to the establishment albeit in the land of the cowbells – we need some of that sort of gently chiding mischief – over here in the land of the docile and obedient – the UK.

  15. dennisambler permalink
    January 13, 2018 11:02 am

    “such as adapting existing street lampposts to enable car charging.”

    They will have to remove the double yellow lines first…

  16. Donald Bruce permalink
    January 13, 2018 11:46 am

    The Government is funding 70% of the project. The problem is that most local authorities have had budget cuts. Some about to sell of public parks to keep their financial heads above insolvency. The installation costs for charging points are not urgent therefore a low priority in most council planning

  17. Gerry, England permalink
    January 13, 2018 12:11 pm

    Before any of this progresses the government has to guarantee that there will be enough electricity in the grid to charge all these vehicles. And of course at this point the whole edifice collapses.

    To get any increase in take up of EVs beyond the current miniscule level – in the USA Ford sells more F150 pickup trucks than total EV sales!! – fast charging is needed. This needs some serious amps. Lamp columns aren’t cabled for that and with more use of LED the cables in lighting circuits can be smaller and cheaper. Even low charge rates would overload the lighting cabling.

    There is also a question of who pays the electric bill. In Westminster it is free as well as being free to park in the charging bays. At my local station though, you still have to pay to park in the bays but the charge is free. And yes, the bays are usually empty. An electric car would be ideal for my short trip to and from the station but then I park on street to save £1000 a year in parking fees so would charge at home unless the economics made it worth using the station car park. But I would never have just an EV and my station runabout is a 2002 Clio I bought from my sister for £500. Way cheaper than an EV.

    • January 13, 2018 12:34 pm

      The national grid themselves published a report which basically concluded that they are fully confident they’ll be able to hand the demand an EV uptake would pose. They busted the ever – ignorant myth that the grid won’t be able to cope.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        January 13, 2018 8:17 pm

        Good to see someone putting the opposite view on this site. Most of those of us who write here are agreeing about the climate hoax, and it is good to have someone challenging. I once tried this on a “Warmist” site and was just subjected to pure abuse!
        The Grid reports are very variable in thoroughness and depth and tend to follow the “party line”, Paul has analysed some of their output in previous articles that are well worth reading.
        Nevertheless, keep putting these views forward as it stimulates detailed analysis.

  18. dennisambler permalink
    January 13, 2018 12:18 pm

    Fear not, we can keep burning trees to help meet our Paris commitments and even if EV charging points are unused they will be quoted as a positive contribution to de-carbonising the economy:

    “A loophole in carbon-accounting rules is spurring a boom in burning wood pellets in European power plants. The result has been a surge in logging, particularly in the U.S. South, and new doubts about whether Europe can meet its commitments under the Paris accord.

    In September, some 200 scientists wrote to the EU insisting that “bioenergy [from forest biomass] is not carbon-neutral” and calling for tighter rules to protect forests and their carbon. Yet just a month later, EU ministers rubber-stamped the existing carbon accounting rules, reaffirming that the burning of wood pellets is renewable energy.

    Drax, for instance, describes its fuel as “low-grade wood such as forest thinnings, tree tops and branches.” But when the company took me around its U.S. mills, the wood I saw piled in timber yards ready for turning into pellets was mostly tree trunks six meters or more long.

    Drax is not unusual. A 2015 analysis prepared for the American Forest and Paper Association, a trade association, concluded that most wood pellets produced in the U.S., both for domestic burning and for export to the U.K., were prepared from whole trees.”

  19. Mike H permalink
    January 13, 2018 3:18 pm

    Whenever I see the charging bays in my local park – always empty – I am tempted to equip my car with a length of hefty black hose. I could park in one of the bays, pop the bonnet against the safety catch, stuff one end of the hose into the gap and lodge the other in the hatch on the charging “post”. Free parking!
    I wonder if anyone checks whether a vehicle is actually charging. After all, it is free parking for EVs whether your car needs a charge or not.

  20. Gamecock permalink
    January 13, 2018 3:46 pm

    ‘Much needed EV charge points’ seems a gross exaggeration.

  21. Rudolph Hucker permalink
    January 14, 2018 10:10 pm

    A very large percentage of British motorists are far to sensible to buy electric cars!!

  22. Donald bruce permalink
    January 15, 2018 12:28 pm

    The EV are just a current fad, given a few years England will benefit from cheaper petrol and desiel cars. Only in large modern cities with off road parking will the electric vehicles be of any use something we do not have. It takes about 2.5kw of electricity to go a mile. I see our local ev charging station is selling electricity at 40p a kWh. That’s £1 per mile. And you can only drive 109 mile in winter due to electricity needed to heat the thing. Why are we even looking at this already falling technology.d

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