Lincolnshire County Councillors react to charging point plans

Lincolnshire’s leaders say more needs to be done to avoid “white elephants” as the government promises tougher action on developers to build green properties.

The only public access electric vehicle charging stations in Sleaford. EMN-210811-165800001
The only public access electric vehicle charging stations in Sleaford. EMN-210811-165800001

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced during a speech to the Confederation of British Industry on Monday that new homes and buildings such as supermarkets and workplaces, as well as those undergoing major renovation, will be required to install electric vehicle charge points from next year, under new legislation.

It is hoped the move will see up to 145,000 extra charge points installed across England every year in the run up to 2030 – when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will end in the UK – and will mean people could buy properties ready for an electric vehicle future.

In his speech, Mr Johnson said: “This is a pivotal moment – we cannot go on as we are. We have to adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution.

“We have to use our massive investment in science and technology and we have to raise our productivity and then we have to get out your way.

“We must regulate less or better and take advantage of new freedoms.”

He said the government was investing in new projects to turn wind power into hydrogen and its net zero strategy is expected to trigger about £90 billion of private sector investment, driving the creation of high wage, high skilled jobs as part of its mission to unite and level up across the country.

Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for environment and economy, said he was “pleased” by the announcement but added: “However, the PM clearly misplaced the page in his script that all new homes need to be built to zero carbon standards.

“Without this measure, the strain on the electricity grid will be unbearable and to meet the demand we will end up with more power being produced by carbon producing sources.”

He said all buildings needed to be zero carbon from next year and there needed to be a plan on how millions of older homes which are “a long way from zero carbon” would be retrofitted.

“Whilst [this] is part of what needs to be done, it makes no sense without announcements on the other measures needed.”

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said the legislation was a “step in the right direction in making electric vehicles more of a viable option for some residents”

However, he added: “Serious improvements are needed to the grid locally to support a boom in the number of charging points and the associated demand for electricity.

“These supply issues need addressing now before we have potentially thousands of ‘white elephant’ charging points.”

There is a similar feeling at district council level as well, with Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader at City of Lincoln Council saying: “We very much welcome the proposal. If it were to be implemented, it would greatly improve access to charging facilities in the city.

“However, given the significant increase in the manufacturing and use of electric cars, a strong infrastructure is required,” he added.