I have recently been asked what the Council’s plans are for providing electric charging points for vehicles in the city centre in light of the pursuit of better air quality. Precis’d below is the update from the Programme Manager: 

“The Council is keen to see the number of electric vehicle registrations increase, in particular due to the zero-emissions status of these vehicles. We introduced a Free parking Permit for such vehicles at the beginning of 2016/17, this allowed the owners of any vehicle classed by the Office of Low Emission vehicles as OLEV (classified as eligible for the plugged in car-grant) to be issued with a permit to allow free parking in any Leeds city Council parking facility. This has proved very popular and the council decided to extend this for a further year and will continue to review this. 

We are also working with local businesses and citizens to provide information on grants for electric vehicle charge points to be installed at home and at the workplace. Evidence from mature EV car ownership models is that the majority of charge events take place at home and at work, with the majority of users not reliant upon, or in need of community, or destination charge facilities. However we recognise that charge points at destinations such as the city centre and popular visitor locations, would be useful, both practically and to provide re-assurance in terms of range anxiety. We, along with the 4 other districts in West Yorkshire are working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to deliver a public charge network across the region. To date 60 sites have been surveyed, including city centre locations, for the installation of fast or rapid charge units. The next step is to tender for a charge point supplier and operator to manage and install this network.  

The expectation nationally is that the commercial charge point providers will lead in terms of delivering networks. This has already seen charge point providers sign partnership agreements with businesses such as Waitrose, Asda, Motorway Services operators, Aldi, the AA and many others to deliver charge networks that cover the Strategic Road Network.  The next step, which has already started is for these operators to cover the A road network across districts and bring points to towns and cities.