After receiving a grant from the ORCS pot of funding, South Tyneside Council (STC) have successfully managed to grow their local electric vehicle charging network by over 100% in the last three financial years, while the London Borough of Wandsworth has one of the largest chargepoint networks in the UK. Here are their top tips on applying for ORCS funding.
- Understand your EV network
Knowing what you want to achieve from your ORCS application and what the vision is for your local authority is key. Understanding this early in the process helps to articulate a successful bid. Try to identify and confirm as many costs as possible. It’s possible that your local power company may have tools or helpful engineers that can quickly identify the costs for you.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare
Preparatory work needs to be completed to identify demand. Wandsworth found that an online platform where people can express their interest was useful, and early discussions with different CPOs was necessary so officers can understand the market.
If we respond with questions or ask for clarification, it is to ensure that your application form is the strongest it can possibly be.
- Remember, installing chargepoint units is a positive step forward
In addition to doubling the size of their chargepoint network, STC are penetrating other areas of the borough that may not otherwise have been targeted using just local resources. The match funding of up to 75% has helped release local funding that can be used to deliver other sustainable and active travel projects in the area. Collectively, the council have been able to deliver more for the benefit of the residents of South Tyneside.
- Maintain your chargepoints and learn from their performance
Like other forms of infrastructure, it is paramount that when applying for ORCS funding you understand how your chargepoints will be maintained and financed in the medium to longer term. Otherwise, it’s possible they could fail, which could bring reputational risk to your local authority.
When reviewing the performance of your units, be prepared to learn from how they perform. South Tyneside found that units which seemed to be perfectly located on paper have been outperformed by other sites that are more peripheral by comparison. This should influence your site selection if you decide to submit future bids.