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Getting Started: A quick guide to on-street EV charging

5 min to readElectric vehicles
Convenient access to charging is an essential part of the UK’s electric vehicle transition, and there’s plenty of support for households that don’t have their own parking space.
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Plugging in overnight is one of the biggest perks of driving an electric vehicle, and you don’t necessarily need a driveway or garage to do so. The Government has allocated billions of pounds for installing chargepoints in residential areas with limited off-street parking, and drivers can influence how that funding is spent. Here’s what you need to know.

How do I know if my home is suitable for an EV chargepoint?

Most EV charging takes place at home, and regulations are designed to make it as easy as possible to install charging equipment. Chargepoints are classed as permitted development, which means there’s no need to get planning permission as long as the installation meets the following requirements:

That first point affects the most drivers. According to the latest National Travel Survey data, a quarter (24%) of English households park vehicles on the street, rising to a third (32%) in urban areas. With new combustion engine cars and vans set to be phased out from 2030, the Government is finding ways help them make the switch too.

What Government support is available for on-street charging?

The On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS) launched in 2017 providing funding for UK local authorities to roll out infrastructure in areas where driveways and garages are less common. This has already funded thousands of chargepoints at the kerbside and in council-owned car parks, including some utilising electrical supplies for existing street lighting.

A further £15m was made available to local authorities in 2023/24, funding up to 60% of installation and equipment costs per charging point, capped at £7,500 per unit or £13,000 if the electrical connection costs are “particularly high”. There is no maximum or minimum project size, but chargepoints must be available to residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week and maintained for seven years.

Councils, unitary authorities and combined authorities in England are also eligible for the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund which launched this year after a pilot in 19 areas last year. This is designed to accelerate the roll-out of chargepoints by covering hardware, electrical connection and installation costs – however, 2023’s application process ended in May.

The LEVI also includes a Support Body, which offers free, impartial advice for local authorities looking to develop their charging strategy, provided by the Energy Saving Trust, Cenex and PA Consulting.

How do I request an on-street charging point?

The ORCS is a demand-led scheme, and residents can take an active role in getting that process underway. Local authorities are responsible for seeking permission from highways authorities and applying for funding, but the first step is contacting them to highlight where there is demand for chargepoints.

There are several ways to do this:

Applications funding are considered on a case-by-case basis, and ORCS funding may prioritise areas that have poor air quality or haven’t received funding through other schemes.

Where can I go to check progress locally?

The BVRLA recognises that local authorities have an important role in developing a robust charging network, as well as the challenges they face with resources, funding and workloads. As a step towards further network growth, especially for fleets, the organisation has launched two key initiatives to support councils with their charging strategies:

What do I need to consider if I can’t get a home chargepoint?

Despite the growing support for residential charging networks, it could take time to fill the gaps. Here are some important tips if you don’t have off-street parking:

Published at 19 July 2023
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19 July 2023
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