Electric vehicles - charging points

Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy FAQS

What role do EVs play overall in tackling the climate change emergency?

EVs will reduce carbon emissions and nitrogen dioxide levels, however they still emit particulate matter through brake and tyre wear, which negatively impacts air quality. Public transport, walking or cycling is often more suitable for many short trips currently made by car, with a target of 71% of trips to be undertaken by these modes by 2041. The council therefore has a programme of wider transport schemes to help achieve this.

Aren’t electric cars too expensive for this to concern me?

The initial up-front or monthly leasing cost of an Electric Vehicle (EV) is typically higher than the same petrol or diesel model at the moment. However, an EV is much cheaper to run, because of the lower fuel costs. The initial up-front cost is coming down, with some estimates predicting that EVs will cost the same as a petrol or diesel equivalent by 2025-27 and more second-hand options becoming available. With the UK Government banning the sale of petrol/diesel cars and vans from 2030, more people are starting to make the switch.

How do you refuel an EV?

There are three main types of chargers: rapid chargers, fast chargers and slow chargers. They are used in different settings, depending on how long a vehicle is likely to be parked up. Rapid chargers are used at service stations where people want to refuel as quickly as possible. Fast chargers tend to be used at locations where people may spend about an hour or two, like a supermarket, cinema or town centre car park. Slow chargers are designed to refuel a car over several hours such as overnight and tend to be in more residential locations. Households with a driveway typically fit their own  charger. On-street slow chargers in Hounslow are usually retrofitted into lamp-columns to minimise their impact on pavements.

What are the UK Government plans for EVs?

The UK Government plans to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars/vans by 2030. All new cars and vans must be fully zero emission at the tailpipe by 2035 (i.e. the ban will extend to include hybrid vehicles). While there are alternatives to EVs, such as hydrogen, there are an abundance of EVs on the market and the battery technology is mature. The UK Government has published its national strategy for how the necessary EV charging infrastructure will be provided. It identifies that local authorities will have a role in providing EV charge points, especially to serve households without off-street parking.

Why are we introducing an EV strategy?

The UK Government’s EVI (Electric Vehicle Infrastructure) strategy wants local authorities to take on a leadership role. Growth in the number of EVs is expected to be rapid and there is a need to increase the number of chargepoints to accommodate this. To ensure the roll-out of EVI across the borough is successful, the council has written an EV charging strategy.

If you wish to find out more about what the strategy includes, Visit online survey page to read our strategy.

What is the strategy trying to achieve?

The strategy will see a move away from installing EVI based on requests and will deliver minimum standards of chargepoint provision, across the borough, based on need. Once minimum standards have been met, additional chargepoints will be installed based on usage which will be monitored. The strategy has 5 key objectives to measure the success of the EVI roll out. These consist of:

  • Focusing our EVI delivery to realise the greatest reduction in harmful emissions
  • Achieving a good minimum level of service for all residents, businesses and visitors
  • Delivering a chargepoint network which is good value for money
  • Providing EVI in a fair and transparent way
  • Providing EVI which supports more efficient use of our streets

In total, the Council aims to deliver 2,000 new EV chargepoints across the borough from May 2022 - May 2026.  

What type of chargers are there currently in the borough?

Currently the majority of the council delivered chargepoints are slow chargers and have been installed based on requests we have received (shown as black dots on the below map). The strategy aims to provide chargepoints across the borough based on the availability of household off-street parking.

The map below indicates what the density of slow charger provision will be in different areas. We will provide a mix of slow, fast and rapid chargepoints and monitor what the public preference is.

Map showing the Electric Vehicle points in the Hounslow borough

Where can I find EV chargers?

The best source of information on where current chargepoints are located is zap-map.com. This shows most public chargers including those at petrol stations, supermarkets and those the council has facilitated.

A public charge point near me isn’t working?

If there is an issue with an on-street chargepoint near you, please get in touch electricvehicles@hounslow.gov.uk and we will raise this with the chargepoint operator.

Will the grid be able to support the demand for EV charging?

As part of the consultation, we will be liaising with the District Network Operator (DNOs), who are interested in fast and rapid provision, as these place the highest energy demands on the network. The UK Government has already been engaging with DNOs as part of the development of the national strategy on Electric Vehicles.

Can I charge my EV by running a cable from my house across the pavement?

No, we do not allow this because even if a cable cover is used it still creates a trip hazard for pedestrians. The effect of several households on a street doing this will make the pavement a much less user-friendly space, especially for those with mobility problems or pushing a pram. EV drivers should be aware that they will be liable for any injury claims made by members of the public if they do trip over a cable laid across public pavements.

I would like to input into the strategy - how can I get involved?

Until Sunday 11 September, we will be holding a period of public consultation where members of the local community can feedback on our EVI strategy.

As a part of the consultation on the strategy, you can have your say on by visiting our website and filling in the online survey. Alternatively, you can request a hard copy with a prepaid envelope by email us at electricvehicles@hounslow.gov.uk

Throughout the consultation period we will also be holding a series of in person and virtual events. To learn more about these upcoming events, please visit our website further updates on upcoming events.

Am I able to apply for a private chargepoint?

No, the strategy aims to evenly distribute publicly available chargepoints across the borough.  The strategy seeks to ensure that public chargepoints are provided conveniently close to high mileage drivers such as taxi and private hire drivers. To see how requests are handled when allocating public charge points, you can find information in Appendix 1 of our strategy

The consultation will allow individuals to comment on our proposed placements of charge points, therefore we will consider and adapt the strategy if there is a high demand in any particular areas. 

I don’t have an EV – can I still contribute?

Yes, we are looking for feedback from both users and non-users to ensure the strategy fits the needs of those that travel through the borough.

If you would like to learn more about how you could access an electric vehicle, please attend our virtual workshop for potential EV owners.

Visit our online survey web page for further updates on any upcoming virtual workshops.

What happens after the consultation?

Following our consultation on the EV strategy, we will collate and analyse the responses. A consultation report and final strategy will go to the Council’s cabinet for approval in Autumn 2022. The report will be made will be available on the Council’s website in advance of the Cabinet meeting, and details of the decision made available afterwards.

I have a question on EVs – how can I get in contact with the council?

Please email us at electricvehicles@hounslow.gov.uk with your query and one of the team will come back to you within 10 working days.

Alternatively, you can call us on 0208 583 3322, where you can leave a voicemail and one of our team will call you back within 10 working days.

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