With a population of 465,700 as of 2011, Liverpool is one of the major cities in the UK. Using the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), Liverpool City Council (LCC) are successfully implementing a e-mobility strategy and improving access to on-street charging infrastructure.
Before 2018, Liverpool had a low uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) compared to other major UK cities, partly due to its limited chargepoint infrastructure.
LCC received six chargepoint requests from residents who were considering buying EVs but couldn’t access cheap home charging because they did not have off-street parking. The council forecasted an increase in EV demand in the city centre around new flat developments, which also had no parking.
This demand, coupled with the identification of several air quality non-compliance areas, resulted in the Air Quality Task Force recognising the clear need to install chargepoints.
LCC submitted a successful application for £77,775 ORCS funding in July 2018, with support from Energy Saving Trust. They installed 68 chargepoints (3.7 – 5kW) on lamp columns in residential areas with 2-3 chargepoints per street.
While it was initially thought that 90% of the lamp columns would be suitable for chargepoint installation, surveys revealed that only 20% were suitable.
The main issue was that many lamp columns were made of concrete and some needed an earth mat. LCC communicated the issue to Energy Saving Trust and proposed some new locations, which were confirmed as suitable.
Chargepoint usage was initially low due to the lack of publicity and awareness in the community. Over time they have become more popular, with several resident requests for more.
LCC found that by opting for chargepoints that are not visibly intrusive, residents were generally happy to have chargepoints outside their property, even if they were not an EV driver nor planning to buy an EV.
Their overall experience demonstrates the importance of being flexible in choosing site locations, considering back-up sites and conducting site surveys early.
“The grant funding from OZEV has enabled Liverpool City Council to install EV chargepoints on residential streets quickly and cost effectively.”
David Brown, principal transport planner, LCC