Electric vehicle owners across Norfolk who do not possess driveways will have to pay just more than £50 for a license to lay cables over public sidewalks to charge their vehicles. Officers from Norfolk County Council will also need to conduct an inspection to ensure that the cable is secure and safe and that it does not obstruct those in wheelchairs or pushing pushchairs.
It comes as enthusiasm for electric vehicles develops. The council reports that it is receiving an increasing number of inquiries about charging electric cars at home, even though it presently lacks a policy. Electric vehicles are predicted to account for 168,279 (26.8%) of all vehicles by 2030, up from 1,931 (0.3%) in 2019 and 25,924 (4.9%) in 2025.
There were 2,631 electric cars registered in Norfolk as of April this year. However, there are only 198 public charging stations in the county, 44 of those are in Norwich. The council has developed a new electric car plan, which the select committee of infrastructure and development considered. Many people do not have driveways, especially in Norwich’s terraced streets, according to the strategy.
As a result, in the lack of public charging outlets, they would require cables from their homes, for which the municipality would charge £51.36 for a 2-year license. According to council officers, that would be a “temporary remedy,” as more public electric charging spots are installed as the number of electric cars on the road rises.
However, councilors questioned why Norfolk charged for licenses while others did not, and worries were expressed about cables “trailing” across pathways. Eaton Liberal Democrat councilor Brian Watkins said: “I do worry it will be regarded as a method to support our costs and is a little of a cash cow,” she says, pointing out that some Conservative councils, like Hampshire, do not charge. Claire Bowes, a Conservative County councilor representing Watton, expressed concern over the safety of the cables.
The charges were at par with other highway penalties, like allowing a skip on the road, according to Grahame Bygrave, the director of highways and waste at the county council. He also stated that the tests would confirm that the cables were secure. “It’s a hard one because there’s the issue of people utilizing footways,” he said, adding that the council had examined best practices in other places. We don’t want dozens of cables strewn across the sidewalks every few meters.” He stated that the council was doing trials with UK Power Networks to put more public charging outlets in terraced areas.