Electric Vehicle Charging on Waterside

We have a group of residents who are working to find and share the most practical solutions and overcome barriers to getting EV charging on to Waterside.  One of the main issues is separation of parking spaces from residences by pathways.  It is NOT OK to trail leads over pathways – there is a duty of care and potential liability for you individually and for the Waterside Management Company (if it is our path).  If you are currently doing so please get in contact (details at end) so we can help you find an alternative solution.

A number of residents are now involved in conversations about best way to set up EV charging points for their residence.  In nearly every case (unless you are lucky enough to have a garage) any solution will create some impact for neighbours and will be easiest (and cheapest) to implement where a group of neighbours get together to do so.  So our first advice if you are interested in charging would be to talk to your neighbours and find out what they are thinking!  (We can help later in the process by contacting owners who are landlords on your behalf.)

 

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are already becoming more common on Waterside,  and given Oxford’s plans to extend restrictions on fossil fuel driven vehicles over time in pursuit of their Low Emission Zone policy many of our residents and owners will be thinking about how to install Charge points for electric vehicles.

These ae useful links if you are interested in understanding more about charge point options here:

https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/charging-electric-vehicles/

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/new-and-used-cars/article/electric-car-charging-guide/how-to-charge-an-electric-car-a9r4I1f0PlaI

And this is information on the grants available:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles

One important thing to note is that there is a grant offered currently for installation, and that it applies to the charge point itself (not any associated electrical works). The grant can only be claimed when you have an Electric Vehicle (or have ordered one).  In practice what this means is that while the grant is in place in this form although it makes sense to get your property ‘Charge Point Ready’ by putting in all the associated wiring, switches and structures as needed (see discussion of options below) you shouldn’t order the actual charge point until you are getting your first EV.

Last year some directors of the Waterside Management Company set up a SIG (special interest group) to look at how we might support our residents and owners to install this important infrastructure whilst guarding the streetscape and of course ensuring safety on Management Company owned land.  As it stands currently some EV owners are having to trail leads (in suitable trip guards) across paths and that can’t be a long-term solution.  Neither is it acceptable for each property to put in a charge point without consideration or collaboration with their neighbours.  But we don’t want to put up barriers to getting this done – we want to help every house in Waterside to get access to what we think will soon be seen as key for any property, just like good internet services has become vital!

Each area of Waterside has its own layout and its own challenges.  In general terms the estate divides into:

  1. Those who have a garage or parking space next to a house/flat wall

  2. Those who have a nearby parking space separated from their residence by pathways or land owned by the Management Company. E.g. Merton Court, Rutherway

  3. Those who have a nearby parking space separated from residence by council adopted pathways e.g. Plater Drive (in part)

  4. Those who do not have their car parking space proximate to their residence.  E.g. Churchill Court

For those in Group 1 there is no issue – you can install a charge point on a wall or in your garage, you won’t need any other structures externally.

For those in Group 2 we are looking to find a small set of ‘approved solutions’ that meet the different challenges of their precise layout.  We also want to encourage groups of neighbours to install the infrastructure required simultaneously both to manage disruption to pathways etc and to manage consistency for the streetscape.  If you are in this group and would like to be part of the ‘pioneers’ group that will be finding the set of solutions and implementing them across the estate please email Diane Newell on Dinewell.dn@gmail.com to register your interest.  We already have solutions trialled that meet the needs of some areas – a shared post solution that you can see outside 25 to 31 Rutherway and in The Crescent (West).  In both cases the group of neighbours that participated in the installation are in different situations.  For example, in the Rutherway group one household has an EV and a charge point working.  One is imminently getting an EV and has had everything installed except the charge point which they will order with their next car.  One has no plans for an EV in the near future and has had all the structure (except charge point) put in externally ready for the interior works to be undertaken as and when needed.

For Group 3 we will set up a separate group to look at solutions and discuss with the local council how we get their help and permission to do works that impact on their landthere may also be some grant money available to us and Juliette Ash a member of the SIG is looking on to that.  If you are interested in joining that group please register your interest with Diane on Dinewell.dn@gmail.com .

For those in Group 4 the best solution will be a shared charging service and we have identified a contractor who can help you with that, GEC Electricals.  There are other suppliers available such as Pod Point (https://pod-point.com/solutions/driver/apartment-charging ) but we would really recommend starting with GEC as they have proven more responsive and reliable that other contractors, we have had discussions with.  They have installed the solutions that we have already trialled, and we hope they will be extensively used across the Estate to ensure consistency. If you are in this group and would like to lead a project to get a shared service for your flats or area please also contact Diane on Dinewell.dn@gmail.com to register your interest.

 

We will be organising some virtual meetings for everyone interested but if you are imminently ordering an EV please do get in touch – the ‘free’ installation offered with most vehicles does not include these structures and you need to think about where the point will go – firms like BP ChargeMaster will want to put it on the wall of your property, which is fine if you are in Group 1, but for any of the other groups leaves other issues to be addressed.