Croydon accelerates Climate Action Plan in EV infrastructure roll out
Liberty Charge has supported Croydon Council in progressing a target set out in its Climate Action Plan to install at least 400 charge points by the end of 2022. Just over two months into the year, the Council has over a third of this target  charge points already live.
The latest on-street tranche, installed, operated and maintained by Liberty Charge, includes 44 rapid charge points. It is a part of the Government-funded Virgin Park and Charge (VPACH) scheme, and includes Hermitage Road, Beech Road, Ecclesbourne Road, Outram Road and Kemble Road.
Locations of on-street charging points were primarily driven by resident requests, supported by Liberty Charge-own data that informs on factors such as density of EV ownership, site pavement widths and the technical elements of on-street installation.
“The use of location data was useful,” says Councillor Muhammad Ali of Croydon Council, “especially as in many locations it was backed up by several resident requests, giving us confidence that our location choices were sound.
“Liberty Charge’s slim charging points were another important factor in our decision making, as they were in line with our Public Realm Design Guidelines, ensuring that pavement use is not compromised,” he adds. “The four-bay, flexible design was also a factor as it gives us the flexibility to retain standard parking while EV charging utilisation rates pick up.”
Liberty Charge network optimisation figures for Croydon show that usage has almost doubled between December 2021 and January 2022. Neil Isaacson, CEO of Liberty Charge, says the consumer confidence required for EV adoption relies on visibility of on-street charging:
“For the 11 million households in the UK without a driveway or access to off-street charging, the public need to see that charging infrastructure is accessible and convenient before they feel ready to opt for an EV, but councils also need to see the demand to justify a mass roll out,” he explains.
“Croydon is an excellent example of managing current resident requests, while also looking to future need. Usage figures are encouraging, and we expect them to rapidly increase over the coming year.”
Cllr Ali adds that Liberty Charge’s partnership with Virgin Media O2 also gave assurance it had the experience and capacity required:
“In addition to robust installation and logistical support, Liberty Charge manages most of the related administration, which is incredibly important for a Council like Croydon. Having funds for infrastructure is of no use if we do not have the personnel to utilise it. Such was Liberty Charge’s support in this respect that we used less resource than we had allocated – helping to deliver on our target.”
Department for Transport figures show that pure electric private car sales are strong in Croydon, with 1,987 EVs registered in Croydon at the end of Q3 2021, which constitutes a year-on-year increase of 83%.
On the 7th February the Council also announced its ‘Croydon Carbon Neutral Action plan’, setting out strategies to reduce carbon emissions resulting from activities within the borough. As well as supporting walking, cycling and emissions-based parking, the Council has committed to ramping up the number of EV charge points available to residents in a programme continuing to 2025 and the ending of new petrol and diesel cars being sold by 2030.