Somerset Electric Vehicle Strategy

The Somerset Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy was developed by Somerset County Council in partnership with the District Councils and was formally approved in 2020/2021. The Strategy provided an assessment of the charging infrastructure and uptake of electric vehicles in Somerset at that time. And it provided an indication of future demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The Strategy takes into consideration the unique characteristics of Somerset and its population and clearly states the aspirations and vision for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This sets out a clear delivery approach through 24 recommendations, covering the following themes:

  • Lead by Example
  • Home Charging
  • Workplace Charging
  • Destination Charging
  • On-route Charging.

Since the publication of our Strategy, the Department for Transport has stipulated that all local transport authorities are required to update their Local Transport Plans by Autumn 2024. This is to reflect their changed approach to transport planning focussing on carbon reduction, levelling up and an improved travel experience.

Electric vehicle charging proposals has been stated as one of the supporting documents that are required for the existing Local Transport Plan. This is along with a Bus Service Improvement Plan, Carbon Quantification and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.

The full guidance for the Local Transport Plan development is expected in Summer 2024. However, the Governments ‘Taking Charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy’ was published in March 2022 and this clearly sets out the governments ambitions and the role that local government has in enabling a move to electric vehicles.

Although progress has been made against the recommendations of the initial strategy, we now recognise that things have moved on and there are a few gaps and variances compared to the Government guidance and the intentions of the Local Transport Plan.

The most prominent of these is the increased priority of home charging provision and clarity against the use of trailing cables across footpaths. With this in mind, we plan to update and renew our Electric Vehicle Strategy for expected adoption in Summer 2024 to tie in with the Local Transport Plan schedule.

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Somerset Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy

Final Report – Oct 2020

PDF, 7.64 MB

Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy: Addendum August 2023

The Addendum to the Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy has been developed to address the growing demand for electric vehicle charging points within new residential developments. This is to ensure that the possible impacts of the proposed charging points, such as on other road users and extents of the highway likely to be adopted, can be taken into consideration as early as possible.

Applicants are encouraged to adhere to the submission requirements as part of any forthcoming planning application. This is to avoid the need for unnecessary amendments, especially as these may pose wider implications on the application as well as seeking the relevant approvals post determination.

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Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy Addendum – August 2023

PDF, 984 KB

Government Strategy

As mentioned above the Governments ‘Taking Charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy’ was published in March 2022 and clearly sets out the ambitions and the role that local government has in enabling a move to electric vehicles.

Taking charge: the electric vehicle infrastructure strategy

In this strategy, the Government has recognised the problem of trailing cables on public highways at properties that do not have access to off street parking.  Charging cables are not allowed to trail across the pavement unless adaptive infrastructure is provided to accommodate them safely (for example, gullies). Anything that creates a trip hazard does not constitute adaptive infrastructure. At Somerset Council we are currently exploring this further and aim to test a workable solution in the coming months. In the meantime, if you do charge your car at home, we would like to bring to your attention the following Electric vehicle charging cables page.

Contactless payment

Following consultation, the Government is now looking to set out regulations for chargepoints. Subject to parliamentary passage, these chargepoints regulations will be laid out in the coming months. The requirement for contactless payment capacity at all new chargepoints 8kW and above will come into effect one year after the regulations begin. All chargepoints installed through the ‘Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure’ (LEVI) funding and the ‘On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme’ (ORCS) must adhere to these regulations when they come into effect.

Consumer Experience at Public ChargePoints (publishing.service.gov.uk)

New Electric Vehicle ChargePoint Power Output Categories

  • Low speed: 0 kW up to 3.7kW
  • Standard: 3.7 kw up to 8 kW
  • Fast: 8kW up to 49 kW
  • Rapid: 50 kW up to 149 kW
  • Ultra-rapid: 150 kW and over

Electric Vehicle ChargePoints in Somerset

We have installed the following chargepoints across Somerset.

Somerset West and Taunton

Rapid ChargePoints

Fast ChargePoints

  • Belvedere Road Car Park, Taunton, TA1 1HE (2x 22kw) Dual
  • Wood Street Car Park, Taunton, TA1 1UR (2x 22kw) Dual
  • Castle Street Car Park, Taunton, TA1 4AS (2x 22kw) Dual
  • Crescent Car Park, Taunton, TA1 4EA (9x 22kw) Dual
  • North Street Car Park, Wellington TA21 8LY (2x 22kw) Dual
  • North Street Car Park, Wiveliscombe TA4 2JZ (1x 22kw) Dual
  • Croft Way Car Park, Wiveliscombe TA4 2JP (1x 22kw) Dual
  • North Road Car Park, Minehead TA24 5AY (2x 22kw) Dual
  • Williton Central Car Park, Williton, TA4 4QA (2x 22kw) Dual
  • Swain Street Car Park, Watchet, TA23 0AQ  (1x 22kw) Dual
  • Porlock Central Car Park, Porlock, TA24 8QA (2x 22kw) Dual

South Somerset

Rapid ChargePoints

Fast ChargePoints

Mendip

Fast ChargePoints

Sedgemoor

Northgate, Bridgwater, TA6 3EU (4x 22kw) Dual

To find the location of any publicly accessible electric vehicle chargepoint across the UK here is the link to Zap Map.

Map of electric charging points for electric cars UK: Zapmap (zap-map.com)

Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund

The LEVI fund supports local authorities in England to work with the chargepoint industry to improve the rollout and commercialisation of local charging infrastructure. Public chargepoints will help residents who do not have off-street parking and need to charge their electric vehicle.

Somerset Council are to be awarded £3.7 million of capital funding from LEVI and we have been allocated into tranche one (2023/24). We have submitted our stage two application along with draft procurement documentation for approval in November 2023. Once approved we can open procurement for a provider and the funds released (March 2024).

The documents below include the LEVI information pack and EV Briefing paper considered at the Somerset Council Environment Scrutiny Committee.

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LEVI Capital Fund Info Pack

PDF, 1.16 MB
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EV Briefing Paper for Scrutiny Committee – May 2023

PDF, 153 KB

Funding Opportunities

Workplace Charging Scheme: guidance for applicants – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Government Find a Grant Service

Find a grant is a service that allows you to search government grants. This is a pilot service and it is being co-created with our users. You can use this service to: access government grant funding, search and filter to find a grant that matches your needs, find out if you are eligible to apply for a grant and find out how to apply for a grant. Please visit the Find a grant GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) page.

Last reviewed: January 8, 2024 by Joshua

Next review due: July 8, 2024

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