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By splitting the inputs required for a project, partnerships can reduce financial and resource costs for each member, as well as providing a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise.

Infrastructure partnerships can be formed between a range of organisation types, in both the public and private sectors. These can be private-to-private, for example, nationwide retail stores partnering with specific chargepoint operators; public-to-public, with two public sector bodies combining resources to deliver projects; or public-to-private, where market-led investment and expertise can work with public sector bodies to help achieve government targets.

Rural partnerships to explore sharing land and pooling community resources

In less population-dense areas, where chargepoint usage is typically lower, it may be more challenging to access a sufficient breadth of partnership and investment opportunities. This will apply particularly in island and rural communities.

Through our engagement activity we have found that small organisations often can’t afford to install chargepoints. As outlined in powering your chargepoints, the new electrical connection can be the most cost prohibitive aspect of a charging infrastructure project. Forming partnerships can help remove these cost barriers.

There are opportunities for groups with a common interest in charging infrastructure to join resources to realise ambitious large-scale project that would not be possible working in isolation.

The following projects provide examples of encouraging the development of partnerships aimed to delivering charging infrastructure in rural areas.

  • These aim to identify what funding solutions may support areas where low public charging demand means there is not a commercial case for installing this infrastructure.

  • This work is also looking at ways of developing infrastructure in areas that don’t have a strong commercial case for doing so.

  • REME is also investigating how to support the development of chargepoints in rural areas. Further information on this project can be found on EDF Energy’s website (one of the project partners).

Exploring private sector opportunities in urban areas

In dense urban areas, there is likely to be a greater number of partnership opportunities, as higher anticipated chargepoint usage makes locations here more attractive to private sector investment and reduces the need for grant funding.

As residencies without access to off-street parking are more common in these areas, it is important to ensure that tariffs remain affordable, so that people are not penalised for not being able to charge at home. This should be a key consideration in any negotiations where private businesses are seeking to install chargepoints on public land.

The following projects provide examples of encouraging the development of partnerships aimed to delivering charging infrastructure in urban areas.

  • The SFT pathfinder projects are expected to explore partnership opportunities in urban areas such as Ayrshire, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Highland, Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Glasgow City Region.

  • This largely on-street residential charging focused project was discussed in the Locating your chargepoints section of this guidance and partners public and private sector organisations. The project design took advantage of existing relationships between the partners involved. They worked together closely on the planning, site selection, installation and operational stages of the project. For more information on this project see earlier case study in full.

Opportunities for private landowners and SMEs

Landowners and SMEs seeking to have publicly accessible charging infrastructure have several routes available. They can engage with their local authority to identify potential support for the wider vision for charging infrastructure, something likely to increase footfall at less or no direct cost.

A fully funded private chargepoint operator may have interest in paying a ground rent to operate their infrastructure if the site is commercially viable, or self-funded installation and operation. Engaging a lawyer for any agreement is advisable, with a clear recommendation here that any below ground materials passing to the landowner at the end of the contract.

They may wish to offer the local authority use of their land to install charging infrastructure, in the same way as the Kent and Perth & Kinross projects described in this section’s case studies.