At least 250 new charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) will be installed across Merton this year, after the council was successful in bidding for funding worth £750,000 from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.
This development will come as welcome news to the borough’s growing number of EV owners. The number of battery electric vehicles registered in Merton has almost doubled in the last year to 1,104, according to figures from the Department of Transport.
The council’s bid for the funding, which was written with support from the Energy Saving Trust, specifies the preliminary locations for 250 lamp column chargers. Almost all these locations are on roads with no off-street parking and no existing EV charging infrastructure. The council envisages that, once these new charging points have been installed, most residential roads with no off-street parking will have at least one EV charging point.
The council will also be launching a public consultation later this year which will give residents and businesses a chance to feed into the finalised plans. The installations will then take place towards the end of the year.
Once installed, these new lamp column EV charging points will double the overall number in the borough, with the current number sitting above 200. Lamp column chargers are intended for overnight charging in residential areas and usually take between 6 and 12 hours to charge.
Councillor Martin Whelton, Merton’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration, and the Climate Emergency, said: “This £750,000 investment in the borough is excellent news, and shows our commitment to tackle the climate emergency by securing this funding.
“With 19% of the borough’s emissions coming from transport, it’s crucial that we make it easier for local residents and businesses to make more sustainable choices and achieve our target of net-zero carbon by 2050. This change has already started, with overall car ownership down in the borough, and electric vehicle ownership increasing at a rapid rate. By enabling more charging point on most residential roads, we can accelerate this trend by removing the barriers to ownership of electric vehicles.”