FAQs: On-street electric vehicle charging

On-street electric charging questions and answers

Is this the best solution?

This is one small solution being explored to understand if it works for residents and helps people charge from home. Currently, around 25% of the UK do not have access to off-street parking and so charging at home is not a viable option and EV ownership is likely the same. We require feedback from participants on their experiences to help us understand the pros and cons of the product.

We are also working with our charge point operator, BP Pulse, to install charge points across Central Bedfordshire. The Gul-e channels are part of a trial and are supposed to complement the wider availability of charge points. We are always looking at solutions for charging, including column and lamp post charging.

How can you guarantee a space outside your house?

Most on-street parking is on the public highway, so spaces can't be allocated exclusively for individuals. We recognise, that in some areas, parking outside of the home is at a premium. In these areas, this may not be a suitable way forward. In other areas, however, this isn't the case. For these, a cable gully is a potential option for electric vehicle (EV) charging that is worth exploring.

What's to stop people from cutting cables?

As is the case with electric vehicle (EV) charge points that are located on street or in car parks, there is nothing to stop the cable from being cut; although they would be cutting a mains cable. We would expect the cable to be removed from the channel when not in use for charging.

Does the gully pose a trip hazard for pedestrians, wheelchair users and prams?

The channels are designed to sit flush with the pavement surface to minimise the risk of anyone tripping or catching their foot or hinder people walking past or wheelchairs and prams. They are also covered with anti-slip material to reduce the risk. This approach has been developed through trials in other parts of the country which have explored a number of options with preventing a potential trip hazard being a primary concern.

Can rainwater gather in the channel and freeze in winter?

The channel is sloped, so will drain to the road. We wouldn't expect standing water to gather in the channel and freeze.

What happens if the footpath needs digging up to repair underground water, gas or telephone services?

The channel would be removed and then re-instated once the works are completed.

Would we reduce the cost of dropped kerbs, so residents can have one on their own property?

The costs of a dropped kerb are set at a level where we can recover the costs. We don't envisage a circumstance where we'll be able to discount or subsidise this. Find out more about dropped kerbs.

How will it work for flats?

We're only looking at on-street parking for this pilot scheme. Usually, flats have allocated parking areas away from the public highway. We recommend residents request their management company to make arrangements for EV charge points to be installed.

Will we cover the installation cost?

This is a pilot, and we are keen to work with residents to understand the suitability of this approach moving forward. Therefore, we have funded the cost of installing the Gul-e channel for the 20 locations in the trial. If the pilot is deemed a success, we hope to offer it all eligible residents and we would look to introduce fees for this to recover our costs.

Who pays for the electricity?

The cable gully allows the resident to have their own EV charge point installed on their property and they would then be responsible for paying the electricity costs to charge their car as part of their usual electricity bill.

Does the cable have to be armoured?

The gully allows for a standard EV charging cable to be used. These are typically armoured. The cable would need to be removed when the vehicle isn't being charged.

Where in Central Bedfordshire is the photo used on social media?

Leighton Buzzard.

What happens when the road sweeper comes along?

If the car is being charged, the cable would be shielded by the car. When not in use, the cable should be removed.

How will the channels be cleaned – will the gully fill up with dirt and get blocked?

The gully has been designed to include a brush/bristle cover which allows access for the cable but also limits dirt from entering. The householder would also be expected to flush the gully out with a hose if needed.

If you have no front garden, where can you install a charging unit?

You may be able to install a charging unit on the wall of your property so long as it doesn't encroach the highway. We recommended taking advice from a charge point company about whether this is feasible or not.

What cable will we put in the channel?

The channel is only for the homeowner to use to charge their electric vehicle using their own charging cable.