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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

48 new Sheffield electric vehicle charging points to be installed across city

In response to declaring a climate emergency in 2019, Sheffield City Council has proposed a new public electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.

The council has announced that it plans to commission external providers to deliver public EV charging infrastructure under 20-year-long contracts which will be awarded up to £15m from public funding.

At a committee meeting for Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy on March 16, Chancellor Andrew Sangar said: “We need to be at the point where half the city is driving electric vehicles and we’re not at that point. This report takes us to the next step but we’re not quite at that step yet. We welcome the progress and huge amount of work the officers are doing but there’s still more to do.”

The plan aims to deliver EV charging infrastructure through funding from the Clean Air Zone, the government’s On Street Residential Charge point scheme and Local Electric Vehicle infrastructure. It hopes the plans will make Sheffield a carbon neutral city by 2030.

According to the government, by 2030 300,000 public charge points will be needed in the UK for the projected 30 million electric vehicles on the road. Currently, Sheffield has only 28.3 charge points per 100,000 of the population - nearly half of the UK’s average of 52 per 100,000.

Jenny Wood, the senior transport planner at Sheffield City Council, said: “In January 2023 there were 157 public charge points in Sheffield which is well below the UK average and a catalysing increase is needed to support the transition to electric vehicles”.

The council has stated a plan to bid for future funding to support the rollout, prioritising areas with the greatest demand. In Sheffield, the council currently has a network of 27 raid EV chargers with an additional 48 single chargers installed across 2022 and 2023 funded by Get Britain Building via the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

Unless additional funding to the £1.16 million available to development of EV charging points across Sheffield and Rotherham is secured at the end of the current contracts, anticipated to be around 2027 and 2028, the chargers may become redundant and have to be removed, resulting in a further cost burden to the council.

Therefore, the council is looking for external providers to take over ownership of the existing infrastructure once the current contracts come to an end.

The council has suggested air pollution contributes to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield causing strokes, lung cancer and other life threatening illnesses which is mainly caused by diesel vehicles.

Along with this proposal, the City Council have recently implemented a ‘Category C’ Clean Air Zone in February, which sees commercial vehicles not meeting a minimum emission standard charged rates between £10 for smaller vehicles and up to £50 for larger ones such as buses and HGVs.

The council hopes the move will encourage the use of EVs and help reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

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