Brighton & Hove Council response on the results of the EV Owners Survey

December 22nd 2020

Last week we published the results of our annual owner's survey. The report we published gave an insight into the real-world experiences of those using the city's EV charging points - with many participants of the survey voicing their problems and concerns.

After we sent our report to Brighton & Hove Council, Parking Strategy and Contracts Manager, Paul Nicholls, has shared an update on the progress of their work and addressed the main concerns raised:

Lamp post chargers blocked by non-electric vehicles
We appreciate that at the time of the survey the city didn’t have any exclusive lamp post charging bays. Some have been introduced this month (December) which should help with this issue. We expect to add further exclusive recharging bays in the spring.

Cost of charging
The cost per kw/h of using a public charger will be more expensive than charging from home because it has to cover the cost of installing and maintaining the charger. Our charge point operator also has to provide a 24 hour helpline service, app and the network has to be powered by 100% renewable electricity. Under the previous operator the council paid for the electricity to encourage EV uptake. As the number of EVs on the road increases it’s unfortunately not financially sustainable for the council to continue to provide free electricity going forward. The council invited bids to procure, install and operate the charger network and Electric Blue submitted the most economically advantageous bid.

Some charge points not working
There have been some technical issues with commissioning 12 of the 200 lamp post chargers which UK Power Networks are working on. We hope these can be resolved in the next few weeks. We are monitoring the types of issues reported on the Electric Blue helpline. A software fix was released this month which has almost halved the number of calls for assistance with charging. We’ll continue to work with Electric Blue to improve the reliability of the charging network. Overall the number of successful charging sessions has increased since September with the equivalent of over 26 tonnes of C02 saved in the year to date.

More rapid chargers needed
Work on the construction of 4 rapid charging hubs has started. Each hub has 6 charging bays and 2 bays at each hub will initially be available for public use. They should be operational by March and are being built at; Victoria Road – Portslade, Preston Park Avenue, Ashton Rise, The Racecourse
More fast chargers will also be added to the network before the end of March.

2020 has certainly been a very challenging year on many levels, and so we find it impressive that it's still managed to be a transformative year for EV ownership in the city. We're grateful to Brighton & Hove Council for showing their dedication in providing a reliable charging network - and we look forward to further progress in 2021.