Agenda item

Ceredigion Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy and Action Plan


Councillor Keith Henson, Cabinet Member, explained that the recommendation by Ceredigion County Council Carbon Management and Climate Change Group (20/06/2022) was for the committee members to consider the draft Strategy and Action Plan prior to presentation to Cabinet for formal adoption. It was noted that the Strategy was in the process of being developed.


Phil Jones referred to the background and the current situation as outlined in the report.


Chris Wilson provided a presentation to the Committee focusing on the Current Situation & Locations (appendix 1). It was noted that the focus of the early stages of the programme was to install EV charge-points (EVCPs) in County Council-owned or managed public car parks and Council premises. It was also mentioned that due to potential trip hazards linked with EVCPs, it would be important to manage this. In respect of the 25% match-funding by the Welsh Government (WG), ministerial approval is required; once this is granted, phase one will commence. It was noted that identifying funding streams for phases 3 and 4 will prove challenging along with attracting private investment due to the county’s rurality. The number of EVCPs throughout the county was possibly lower than in more urban areas due to population and demand. The aim was to provide an even distribution of EVCPs throughout the county. Despite uncertainty in terms of technology, it would be key to consider all options including hydrogen.


Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Phil Jones and Chris Wilson.  The main points raised were as follows: 

·       In terms of funding, £420,000 was received from the Welsh Government’s Ultra Low Emission Transformation Fund (ULEVTF) in the 2021/22 Financial Year. Grant funding of up to £300,000 has also been allocated to the Council by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). A sum of £273,171 from the UK Government has been awarded to enable a second phase during the 2022/23 financial year (£204,878.20 (75%) from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEC) On-street Residential Charge-point Scheme (ORCS) with the remaining £68,293 (25%) to be provided as match-funding by the WG).

·       Due to uncertainty around whether the match-funding (25%) would be given, WG were aware that there were no private investors in the county. Hopefully, written confirmation from WG of the funding would be sent in due course. Consideration of other sources of funding remained key.

·       Silverstone Green Energy has assisted the Council following a tendering process to install and operate the public EVCPs at Penmorfa and Canolfan Rheidol. An agreement is in place to ensure both the company and the Council have a share of the profit, which was impacted by the slow take-up. 

·       The Strategy is key to the Council’s 2030 net zero carbon ambition and delivery of the Council’s Net Zero Action Plan. It would also provide access to people who wish to charge their vehicles.

·       No consideration was given to installing EVCPs at schools including the new area school in Dyffryn Aeron; Officers confirmed there was currently a condition that EVCPs should be provided to the public.

·       Subject to planning, members felt the Council should consider opportunities to create renewable energy within the county.

·       Concerns that the installation of EVCPs would not reduce the number of vehicles on the road as per Llwybr Newydd transport strategy.

·       Concerns were raised around the National Grid’s capacity to provide electricity as this would limit where EVCPs can be installed. Concerns also around the security of the supply of energy, especially in the current climate and from where was the energy provided by the DNO sourced.

·       Working together would be key in avoiding the installation of numerous EVCPs at the same location.

·       Consideration to other sources of fuel (e.g. HGO) was raised; officers confirmed they were continually considering options.

·       Lack of education around the benefits of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to the environment.

·       As dealers register EVs centrally and not to their owner’s addresses, a true account of the number of EVs in the county is not available.

·       The different types and availability of specific EVCPs; an officer explained that there seemed to be a universal charger and also adapters for different vehicles. EVCPs apps have been developed that help drivers search for chargers. Communicating information to the public around EVCPs will need to be considered in moving forward and information will need to be included in the apps.

·       In response to a query about the definition of on-street residential charging, the officers clarified it meant providing charging points off-street for on-street vehicles.

·       From a safety perspective, it will be important to give the public enough warning of any upcoming installation work.

·       Due to concerns around the location of the EVCPs in Aberaeron; officers agreed to discuss the matter with the elected member.

·       Issues were raised with the EVCPs in Penmorfa appearing on the app; officers explained that they would raise this with Silverstone Green Energy.

·       Concerns raised around the intensive mining related to lithium batteries.

·       In terms of charging on the street, it was explained by officers that regulations were in place around what could/ could not be done therefore the focus was on ensuring people had the facilities to do so safely. A charging system would need to be set up in due course.


Following a lengthy discussion, Members agreed to the following recommendation:

·       The Thriving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee is requested to consider the draft Strategy and Action Plan (Appendix 1) and to approve its presentation to Cabinet for formal adoption by the Council.


Supporting documents: