Oundle connects to electric car charging network

Oundle drivers will soon find it a bit easier to help the UK government meet its ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions, with new plans to install public electric vehicle charging points in town. The Northamptonshire County Council has partnered with the government agency, Innovate UK, which is overseeing a consortium of organisations who are working to install public EV charge points.

Currently, the nearest rapid charging points of 50-120kW per hour are in Corby and Peterborough. There are only a few of these, however. There are more fast charging points that range from 7kW to 22kW per hour. There is currently a 7kW charger in the Oundle School Sport Centre car park. The Co-op is planning to place 22kW charging points at their stores nationwide.

Following public consultation in April, the NCC have proposed charging points to be installed in January on South Road and New Street as part of the second wave of the Virgin Park and Charge network.

They are aiming to choose locations best suited to people who do not have access to their own off-street parking. However, the charge points cannot be sited in front of residential houses or next to grass verges. There may be a parking restriction in the charging bays during the day, with a limit of two hours reserved for electric vehicles only. The charge points in Oundle will either be 7kw or 22kW per hour.

The Oundle Town Council has expressed reservations about the proposed locations. Because of the time required to charge a car, the New Street location would not be practical, and would waste a parking space in a normally busy town centre location. The charge station would also take up half of the pavement in an area heavily used by pedestrians.

The council has suggested other locations such as the long-term car park or the Drill Hall car park. The alternative locations would allow people to charge their cars for a longer period during the day or at night.

Users of public charge points should look carefully at the rate being charged for electricity. Depending on the electricity charge applied by the providers, the charge points might be too expensive, and owners of electric vehicles might prefer not to charge there.

An economic car (55mpg) with fuel at £1.20 will cost £5.40 to travel 60 miles. As a rule of thumb an electric vehicle will use 15kW to travel 60 miles.
David Wood, from Transition Oundle says: “I personally charge overnight using off peak electricity at six pence per kW, so I travel 60 miles at a cost of 90p. Some operators charge over thirty pence per kW so 60 miles will cost £4.50.

“If you are trying to persuade people without off street parking to buy an EV, cost of electricity is a key factor.”
At the end of this project, the county council hopes to have 69 charging points throughout Northamptonshire.

The UK government has recently announced an ambitious ten-point plan to ban the selling of pure petrol and diesel cars by 2030. They also plan to place rapid charging points along all the A road network to ensure that travelers can easily continue their journey.

Electric cars have become increasingly more in demand with 127% more registrations for pure electric vehicles this year compared to 2019. As of September 2020, there were 164,100 pure electric cars on the road in the UK, and 373,600 hybrids.

Gabriel Sun
1 December 2020