March 9, 2022 3.30 pm

Lincoln leads the way for electric car charging points – but is it worth it?

Councils moving forward with green energy plans

With petrol prices spiking rapidly following the cut-off of gas and oil supplies in Russia, amid outcry over its invasion of Ukraine, many might be looking to alternatives such as electric vehicles.

Green energy and EV charging have been on the agenda for a number of years now, but only recently has there been a surge of activity.

Councils locally have been taking up the challenge, increasing the number of charging points around the county and bringing in new policies to promote their inclusion in new developments. Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines looked at how authorities were doing in Lincolnshire.

Statistics from the Department for Transport, using data on charging devices provided by the charging platform Zap-map, have shown the City of Lincoln is in the top 20% of local authorities for EV charge points per 100,000 population.

Councillor Bob Bushell, portfolio holder for addressing the challenge of climate change at City of Lincoln Council, said: “There has been significant growth of charge points within the city over recent years.

“As a priority for the city council over the next few years, we are now looking at opportunities to expand charge points in areas of the city, particularly in areas with limited off-street parking and are working closely with Lincolnshire County Council as the Highways Authority on this.

“Our planning policy requires that all new homes are ‘electric vehicle ready’ and a new policy [Policy S17: Electric Vehicle Charging] is part of the draft Central Lincs Local Plan, which is due to go out for a second consultation in the spring.”

The council’s website lists 34 charging points across its six main car parks, including 12 at the new Lincoln Central Car Park.

SKDC leader Cllr Kelham Cooke using a charge point. | Photo: South Kesteven District Council

Boston is also in the same bracket as Lincoln, and East Lindsey in the 60 to 80% of authorities to have the highest number per 100,000 population.

South Kesteven has between 20 to 40% per 100,000 population.

However, the rest of the district councils such as South Holland, North Kesteven and West Lindsey are all in the bottom 20%.

The City of Lincoln uses the bp pulse network to supply its energy, and according to its website, without a subscription charging will cost between 33 to 44p per kWh.

A subscription is £7.85 per month including VAT.

According to EDF Energy’s website, it typically costs between £6 to £7 for 30 minutes of charging at Tesco, a figure which will get you about 100 miles of range.

EV company PodPoint suggests those who charge at home will get around 28p per kWh which means a 60kWh electric car will cost about £15 for 200 miles of range – though it suggests tariffs can be made cheaper.

Its Smart Home Charging pod starts at £799.

DriveElectric uses data from the RAC that suggests a home charge point typically costs around £800 to install, but notes that government grants could drastically reduce it.

It’s also possible, though slower, to use regular plug sockets to charge most new vehicles.

As for the vehicles themselves, AutoExpress ran an article in January which suggested some electric cars could go for just over £19,000 now, while prices are set to drop even further as manufacturing and popularity grows and people look for alternatives to the rising costs at the petrol pump.