On-street electric vehicle charging to continue

After a successful pilot scheme encouraging motorists to switch to a ‘greener’ way to travel, on-street electric charging points – provided through a number of lighting columns on Wirral streets – is set to continue.

More than 50 on-street electric vehicle charging points were installed around the borough in 2021, focused primarily in Hoylake, Wallasey and Woodchurch. These facilities made it easier for owners of electric vehicles to stay charged up and were aimed at encouraging more people to consider making the switch away from petrol and diesel.

The council committed to reducing the borough’s carbon emissions when it declared climate emergency in 2019 and the charging points, installed as part of a £100,000 scheme, help to provide the greener network that residents need to reduce their emissions too.

Under the conditions of the original funding, the charging points were provided free of charge for those first 12 months of the pilot scheme. However, in order to make the provision sustainable going forward, motorists will, from 5th December 2022, have to pay to charge their cars at these locations. The cost initially will be set at 38p/kWh, subject to change.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport committee for Wirral Council, said, “While electric vehicles are not the primary solution to climate emergency issues, it is important that we do what we can to encourage those who have to travel by car to do so without causing as much air pollution or GHG emissions. A big part of our climate emergency action plan is to work towards a future with far more active travel and better public transport.”

The installation of this first set of chargers was funded by a grant from OZEV – the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles, formerly known as OLEV – and Wirral Council. Any future electric vehicle charging schemes will be based on the council’s Electric Vehicles Charging Point strategy, which is currently being developed, and subject to available funding.

The findings of the pilot scheme will be used to inform this strategy, which will also look at the potential for extending this type of installation into other locations as well the most appropriate tariff to set for their usage.

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