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For residential charging in urbanised areas, the first question is whether it can be provided directly on streets which have no driveways. This is the option that most closely resembles the convenient home charging model experienced by electric vehicle drivers with a driveway.

An alternative option is to instead look at car parks within reasonable walking or wheeling distance of settlements, with other off-street options being at strategic transport locations (for example, train stations or active travel connections) or commonly used amenities (for example, leisure centres or supermarkets).


Attributes of this approach are:

  • Convenience –  you can charge where you already park, within sight of your terraced or flatted residence.
  • Opens up many more location opportunities – public electric vehicle charging can fit within street plans that have existed for decades, and provide a distributed charging resilience within the local area in the event of power outages.
  • Existing streetscape benefits – save on costs of installing dedicated lighting and drainage, sync up with road maintenance plans such as lining and resurfacing works.
  • Resident engagement – due to potential changes, sharing plans and taking on feedback will increase probability of a smooth installation and successful transition.
  • Potential need for traffic regulation orders (TROs) to create dedicated electric vehicle only bays – although this may not be required on streets or portions of streets with lesser parking demand.
  • Potential for extra clutter on shared pavement space – although it should be noted that there are specific designs that minimise this effect, particularly when not in use, e.g. pop-ups, lamppost-integrated, bollard-fitted.


Attributes of this approach are:

  • Less disruption to current street life – administrative and time-burden of street-level engagement and developing TROs per chargepoint and potential pushback is reduced if a nearby car park is available.
  • Greater availability of chargepoint options – the likelihood of greater spatial availability supports a greater variety of AC device options and larger DC units for rapid charging.
  • It may better suit lifestyle patterns – rather than charge on-street near home, you may prefer to top up charge when out and about. Either using fast AC stations at frequently-visited locations, or rapid DC stations for quicker charges – the latter being closer to the well-established internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle refueling model.
  • Implementation of accessible charging bays – the likelihood of greater spatial availability supports accessible charging. Existing car parks, however, may need a reduction in the number of spaces to achieve this.
  • Link to renewables and storage solutions – the likelihood of greater spatial availability gives greater scope for solar canopies and battery storage to reduce the carbon impact and electricity cost of charging.
  • Opportunities to use vacant or underused land – starting a site from scratch could ensure it is optimally designed for an effective electric vehicle charging experience.