Slough's 'fourth worst' rating for EV charging points is misleading, says council

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Slough is the ‘fourth worst’ area for electric vehicle charging points according to new data - but the council's transport lead says this figure is misleading.

A calculation by UK price comparison website Compare the Market showed that there are about 0.33 chargers for every 100 electric vehicles (EVs) – 68 charging points to 20,507 vehicle owners.

However, Cllr Robert Anderson, lead member for sustainable transport and the environment (Labour & Co-Operative, Britwell and Northborough) has said he believes that this calculation is off.

“It’s not just a matter of counting the number of electric vehicles versus the number of charges,” he said. “The proof of the pudding is in how much those Slough charging points are being used.

“We’re lucky enough to have one of the largest vehicles leasing companies headquartered in Slough. There are four or five thousand cars that are being sent all over,” he said.

“At the moment there isn’t a huge demand (for charging points in Slough) – the ones we have got are not overwhelmed with people using them.”

For example, the charging points on Farnham Road and the Hatfield and Herschel car parks are not constantly at full capacity, he said.

As for on private land, Cllr Anderson believes that more charging points will start to appear as demand goes up.

The council will be increasingly looking to direct developers of new, large residential planning applications towards green infrastructure moving forward, he added.

“We’re reticent to make too many changes to the street because of the rate things are changing,” he said.

“There are changes coming to the high street, to Queensmere (shopping centre) – there’s no point putting something in that will have to be ripped out 18 months later.”

Other factors to consider is the rate of change within the industry itself, with the energy storage capacity of electric vehicles increasing. Public access charging points may be less important.

Certain destinations are better choices for chargers than others, Cllr Anderson added.

“Somewhere like a leisure centre, where you know you’ll be there for an hour or so, may be a better place than a random charger on the street,” he said.

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