The council has produced a report mapping out its intentions to develop infrastructure to support the expected growth of zero-emissions vehicles.
Described as a draft interim policy statement, the Stockport Zero-Emission Vehicle Charging Infrastructure report sets out the policy context, current position, market growth and demand trends, and how the borough can meet the challenge.
Stockport has committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2038, but there remains a mountain to climb, given that registered EVs in the borough make up just 0.5% of licensed vehicles.
At just 866 vehicles (mostly ultra-low emission vehicles) this is, nevertheless, the second-highest level among Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs.
While the local authority expects the private sector to lead in the provision, its report said that “where locations are not financially viable public sector will ensure that suitable provision is available”.
At present, there are only eight locations across the borough with publicly available charging points, including Cheadle Royal Business Park, and the Heaton Lane multi-storey car park in the town centre. There are only two devices with the desired rapid-charge capability of fully powering a car within 20 minutes.
Included in the report is the potential to develop multi-purpose connectivity hubs, sounding much like the one being advanced by Manchester in Ancoats at present. Stockport’s report noted that forecourt-style charging has been successful in Essex, with 36 charge points locate with relaxation areas. Brighton is named as an exemplar in engaging the public, with the electricbrighton.com website.
The take-up of electric vehicles under the Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Plan will be important, with commercial vehicle owners being incentivised to trade their old vehicles in.
Stockport thinks it will need around 15 electric taxi charging points, of which the first three are at planning stage.
Locating charging points for private vehicle owners looks like being a lengthy political exercise, with issues for on-street charging points including dwell time, accessibility and working out which existing parking bays should be upgraded.
Another issue is providing clarity for developers as to what is expected of them within planning applications.
Much of the funding is expected to come through existing council and Transport for Greater Manchester streams. Other sources could include the European Regional Development Fund, which could be put to work at Merseyway and Endeavour House.
The second wave of Evergreen funding is also mentioned, with charge points a possibility at phase four of Muse Developments’ Stockport Exchange; while private funding, such as that levered in from developers partnering with Stockport’s Mayoral Development Corporation, is also a possibility.
Stockport’s communities and housing scrutiny committee is asked to review and comment on the report at its meeting on 6 September.