WODC has announced that 35 new charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) will be installed in car parks in the District, each being capable of charging up two cars at a time. They hope to complete the process by next summer. They will be put into car parks at Witney (Woodford Way), Woodstock, Eynsham, Carterton and Chipping Norton. And five are being put in WODC’s own car park at its Woodgreen office in Witney.
So none for Burford, despite the large number of visitors who come here and who might want to charge up their EVs. Have we done something to upset WODC?
On a wider front, Boris Johnson is leading the charge (sorry!) in seeking to bring about a “green industrial revolution” in this country. The headline announcement is that the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be prohibited from 2030, with hybrid models to follow in 2035. It is reported that there are now more than 164,000 pure EVs (excluding hybrids) on our roads and in October there were 34,360 charging points. That compares with 31.6 million petrol and diesel cars in June 2020 (excluding vans and the commercial vehicles). So a long way to go.
The government says it is going to provide £1.3bn to provide new charging points. Detail on how this will work is lacking. If you have a house with a garage or off street parking, it is relatively easy to obtain your own charging point. But what, we wonder, will happen in roads such as Witney Street in Burford where there are few homes with off street parking? Will you be allowed to drape a charging cable out of your house and across the pavement, as occasionally happens now? Even to do that you would need to be able to park right outside your house, which is not easy.
In some cities councils have tried to address this by attaching charging points to street lights, but there are few kerbside street lights in Burford and the ones we have tend to be in the newer parts of the town where there is off street parking. Will charging points be put up by the roadside? If so, it’s extremely unlikely that there would be one per house. If you manage to park by a charging point, are you expected to move your car when it has finished charging so that someone else can use the point, or can you leave it there until the next time you drive somewhere? And what if you still have a petrol or diesel car? Can you park it next to a vacant charging point? We can see that it could be charging leads at dawn unless this is carefully thought out.