Stepping up our support for Electric Vehicles
One of the biggest contributors to the carbon footprint of East Cambridgeshire households is transport – particularly our cars. Fossil fuel based engine cars have been around for nearly 150 years, and have been a major factor in the rapid increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Perhaps surprisingly, electric cars have been around even longer, but have always struggled to compete with petrol or diesel cars on performance and range. Hence, engine based cars have dominated the market for decades.
But after 150 years of engine based dominance, we have entered the decade of change. For household purpose, electric vehicles now compare similar to petrol or diesel based engine vehicles on performance and range, and are generally regarded as much more environmentally friendly.
Whilst petrol and diesel engine cars will still be around for a while, their dominance will rapidly decline. And from 2030, there is an upcoming ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
East Cambridgeshire District Council wants to support this transition to electric vehicles. We think the best way to do this is to help increase the availability of public charge points and help support those individuals and organisations that want to instal chargers themselves.
Where can I learn more about electric cars, their cost and benefits?
Purchasing an electric car is a big investment, so you will want to do your research carefully. A great place to start would be to view the Electric Vehicle pages on the Energy Saving Trust (external link) website.
Charging an Electric Vehicle
Charging an Electric Vehicle is easy. Most can be plugged into a standard home socket and can charge to around 80% overnight. A dedicated home charger can charge even faster, in around 6 hours. If you need a faster charge, this can also be done in 30 minutes at a rapid charger. These are often found at motorway services.
For charging on the move, public charging points can often be found in car parks, motorway services and retail outlets. Websites like Zap Map (external link) and Carwow (external link) provide maps of all the public EV charging points available in the United Kingdom.
If you don’t have off street parking, you could use a neighbour’s charger by downloading a charger sharing app. Charger sharing allows homeowners with chargers to rent them to neighbours. Charger sharing apps include Co-Charger (external link), JustCharge (external link), Zap-Home (external link), and Book My Charge (external link).
Grants for Electric Vehicle Chargers
Some national grants are available to help subsidise the cost of installing charge points, though these tend not to be for private households.
The EV Chargepoint Grant (external link) is available for landlords, flat owners, and private renters.
Employers and businesses can access the Workplace Charging Scheme (external link).
For areas without off street parking, there might be a special national grant available, which East Cambridgeshire District Council could apply on your behalf. We are looking into this option, but in the meantime, if your local parish or community can identify an area where this might be used and you think might fit the national guidance (external link), then please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look into it further.
What is East Cambridgeshire District Council doing?
In Spring 2023, we installed 24 electric vehicle charging points across three of our district car parks. The 7kW charge point units are located at Barton Road Car Park and Newnham Street Car Park in Ely, and Clay Street Car Park in Soham. The project is supported by Connected Kerb, an electric vehicle infrastructure specialist, and the Energy Saving Trust.
We are committed to doing more to help speed up the availability of charge points, and will update this website with more information soon.