Trafford Council has connected the first tranche of a planned 100 new charging bays – the biggest local authority roll-out in Greater Manchester.
Delivered in partnership with charging infrastructure provider Be.EV, the ambitious roll-out has been designed to ensure charging access is available for all, not just those in affluent areas.
Up to 100 charging bays will be delivered by 2023, with no capital investment from the local authority. Indeed, the Council has leased sites to Be.EV, which is responsible for the build and maintenance of the network.
“As significant landowners and as representatives of all their residents, councils and cities play an important role in ensuring a fast and fair delivery of green infrastructure,” said Be.EV CEO Asif Ghafoor.
“But, as Trafford Council has shown, they don’t have to do it all. We are delighted to have supported their team with our planning and data expertise and – crucially – with significant capital investment.”
The go-live of the first new sites, including car parks and local parks, comes as Department for Transport statistics show that the North West has the lowest level of public charge points per 100,000 population of any English region (32 per 100,0000 people) – behind the South East (49), West Midlands (42) and London (122).
The launch – at Flixton road, Urmston – follows detailed work between Be.EV and the EV team at Trafford Council.
Together, the team selected and prioritised locations of the new chargers according to where they are most needed – for example, near houses without driveways – as well as where they could be delivered quickly. On each shortlisted site, detailed site assessments ensured the space was used optimally, with accessible, well-lit bays and clever layouts.
The process also included a public consultation, with feedback highlighting demand for faster chargers in safe, well-lit locations.
“The aim of this roll-out is to create dependable, fair access to public EV charging across the borough. We want to build the infrastructure that encourages everybody to go electric – even if they can’t charge at home,” said Chris Morris, Director of Transport, Highways and Environment at Trafford Borough Council, about the launch.
“The team at Be.EV use street-level data to really drill into neighbourhoods and find the locations that make the biggest difference locally. Building bigger hubs that ensure there’s always a free space is part of that strategy.”
The partnership model between Be.EV and Trafford Council is collaborative, flexible and non-exclusive, as well as fully-funded. All ongoing maintenance, back office, upgrades and further expansion of the network is the responsibility of Be.EV, who are also bringing in private landlords and business to host chargers and build a concentrated, unified network in the region.
“The Trafford team have been really forward-thinking in their approach and together, I believe, we’re showing what’s possible,” Ghafoor continued.
“We need hundreds of thousands of public charge points by 2030. If, like Trafford, all 300+ local authorities rolled out 100 bays in the next two years, that order of magnitude no longer looks out of reach.”