Today in Westminster, the Prime Minister has announced that new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned by 2030, allocating £4bn to the project, including £1.3bn for electric vehicle charging points. What does this mean for Surrey? How close are we to fulfilling our role in the electric vehicle revolution and the slowing of climate change?
At a glance, Surrey’s current EV charging point figures don’t look particularly promising, with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council having just 13 charging points per 100,000 people, placing it in the bottom 20% nationwide. However, there is hope: Spelthorne is the strongest Surrey borough council for EV charging points, providing 47 points per 100,000, a figure that puts it in the top 20% of UK boroughs.
As you look at the Department for Transport’s charging point map, it’s interesting to note that the Surrey boroughs that border London have the highest number, with Runnymede, Elmbridge and Spelthorne coming out top in the Surrey charging point league table.
What about the long-term view?
Well, Surrey County Council plans to install twenty new EV charging points across the boroughs of Woking, Guildford, Spelthorne and Waverley in a pilot scheme running from 2019-2021. And Woking is a veritable building site at the moment, with plans not only for new buildings but also for road widening and improved transport – will Woking’s share of the EV charging points be included in the improvements? To quote Woking Borough Council’s climate change strategy, “Through its Core Strategy and Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), the Council’s Planning policies require that electric vehicle charging infrastructure be included in new development.” That’s good to hear, but I’m sure you’ve spotted the absence of an actual number.
Of course, electric car owners can charge their cars at home – public charging points aren’t the whole picture. That said, availability of charging points makes a significant difference to electric car figures. A survey by financial website This Is Money shows that there were substantially more electric cars purchased in areas with a high number of charging points. So if Surrey wants to play its part in decreasing petrol car numbers and increasing the number of electric vehicles, introducing more vehicle charging points will be an important step.
Electric vehicle charging point numbers per 100,000, by borough, ranked worst to best:
- Reigate and Banstead 13
- Tandridge 15
- Woking 18
- Epsom and Ewell 18
- Waverley 19
- Mole Valley 19
- Surrey Heath 24
- Guildford 24
- Elmbridge 28
- Runnymede 29
- Spelthorne 47