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Developers will have to provide electric vehicle charging points under new policy

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An electric Hyundai Kona recharging An electric Hyundai Kona recharging Employment developments in Swindon would have to include electric vehicle charging points as part of their parking arrangements if a new policy is adopted.

The policy – which will go out to consultation in July and August – would also apply to developers building new retail and housing developments.

Under the proposed policy, new employment developments would be required to provide a minimum of two EV spaces or 20 percent, whichever is the maximum, for car parking associated with work uses.

This could then be extended up to 30 percent in future years. The dedicated electric vehicle parking spaces would be allocated to drivers of electric vehicles with surplus spaces being made available to general parking provision.

New retail developments would also be required to provide Electric Vehicle Charging Points – or EVCPs – in 10 percent of parking spaces with the option for extending this to a further 10 percent of bays.

And housing developers would be required to provide a minimum of one EVCP per home where there is a requirement for parking spaces.

In residential developments, the EVCPs would have to be wall-mounted boxes, which are safer and quicker, reducing charge time by 30 to 60 percent, depending on the vehicle.

A smart wallbox can also regulate charging time and speed to reduce pressure on the local electricity network.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “I am really excited to be driving ahead with this forward-looking new policy, which will make it even easier for people to own electric vehicles in Swindon.

“If adopted, I hope local businesses and developers engage positively with our drive to reduce Swindon’s carbon emissions and support the Council’s Vision for a low-carbon economy.”

The announcement was made as new industry data has revealed the extent of the UK’s electric vehicle revolution, with the number of public charging locations now surpassing petrol stations for the first time.

Data from EV charging specialists Zap-Map shows that as of May 28 there were 8,546 charging locations across the UK, hosting a total of 13,688 charging devices.

In contrast, as of the end of April, there were 8,400 petrol stations in the UK, a figure which is continuing to decline.

The news highlights how a common barrier to using electric vehicles is being removed and ‘range anxiety’ is becoming a thing of the past.

The expanding network supports an increasing number of electric vehicles, currently sitting at 210,000 – up from just 3,500 six years ago. Analysts forecast that by the end of 2022, at least one million EVs will be in use across the UK.

Juliet Davenport, founder and CEO at Chippenham-based renewable energy supplier Good Energy – a major stakeholder in Zap-Map – said: “Tackling the climate crisis means electric vehicles need to go mainstream.

"This milestone shows how rapidly we are moving in that direction, away from polluting petrol and diesel cars. We still have a long way to go but the future of transport is electric.”

Ben Lane, co-founder and CTO at Zap-Map added: “The public and private sectors are now investing heavily in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient charging points to support the growing electric fleet.

"This month’s milestone reveals the rapid pace of change already underway as the age of the combustion engine gives way to an all-electric era with vehicles offering both zero-emissions and a better driving experience.”