Thousands more electric vehicle charging points needed in Lancashire by 2030 as county prepares for the end of petrol car sales

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Lancashire will need to see a 12-fold increase in the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points it has available by the time the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles is banned in the UK in 2030.

A new strategy designed to ensure that the county can cope with the accelerating shift to electric vehicles estimates that a total of 6,655 publicly accessible facilities will be required in the county council area - which excludes Blackpool and Blackburn, but includes Fylde and Wyre - by the end of the decade.

Blackpool Council has already drawn up its own policy on the issue and earlier this year outlined that it needs 210 EV chargers to be available by 2027 - seven times the 30 it currently has.

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According to government data, there are currently 520 EV chargers dotted around Lancashire - a mix of both local authority installed units and those run by private entities like supermarkets. County Hall has previously said that it operates 150 of the increasingly vital chargepoints.

A rapid expansion of public chargers is going to be needed in Lancashire by the end of the decadeA rapid expansion of public chargers is going to be needed in Lancashire by the end of the decade
A rapid expansion of public chargers is going to be needed in Lancashire by the end of the decade

It is forecast that by 2030, 244,728 electric vehicles will be registered in the Lancashire County Council patch - 36 percent of all cars and vans. That figure currently stands at just over 10,000 - just 1.3 percent of the present total.

The authority has been awarded an indicative £10.1m from the government in order to deliver the needed infrastructure, although there is an expectation that private sector investment will also be required if the target is to be met. A phased rollout means that a midway target has also been set to install a third of the total required devices by 2027.

Cabinet members have now approved the new strategy, which outlines the action that will have to be taken in the years to come That includes a major planning exercise to identify “optimal locations” for the chargers and co-ordinate their delivery - as well as awareness-raising amongst motorists about ever-changing EV charging capability.

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Residents who have off-street parking and can install a home charger are expected to be far less reliant on public units than those without garages or driveways, for whom the network available on streets and in other public spaces will be a necessity.

Lancashire is already piloting technology designed to make electric vehicle charging easier in residential areas without easy access to charging methods. These include EV chargers that are integrated into street lighting columns and also pavement cable channels.

At the moment, West Lancashire has the highest number of electric vehicles of any Lancashire district – 1,345. Blackpool has just under 700, but has one of the lowest numbers of chargers per electric motor in the county, while Fylde is bottom of the Lancashire league table by that accessibility measure.

The strategy notes that just under 35 percent of Lancashire residents have to park on a road near their homes, while the remainder have some level of off-street space.

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Those with high annual mileage - of 18,000 miles or more - and no off-street parking will need to use the public EV charger network “multiple times a week”, councillors were told, while those with access to garages will be likely to plug in at home every night. Low-mileage motorists without their own at-home charging facilities will probably need public a charging point only once or twice a week.

Around 70 percent of the facilities to be installed in Lancashire are expected to be so-called ‘nearby’ chargers, which are those within a reasonable walking distance of a household - typically around five minutes.

The remainder will be split between a minority of ‘primary’ locations - those visited largely for the sole purpose of charging a vehicle, such as a service station forecourt - and ‘secondary’ spots such as supermarkets, which are visited by motorists for another reason, but during which they will seek to charge their vehicles.

The exact type, number and location of chargers cannot be forecast at this stage, because of what cabinet member for environment and climate change Shaun Turner highlighted as the variables that will affect the final decisions.

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“What we don't want is EV charging points in all the wrong places. It is difficult [to forecast demand] because…if you get an [electric] car, you do change your behaviour about how you drive [and] where you drive - [and] people have different lives and different journeys, so [there’s] a lot to consider,” County Cllr Turner said.

However, he described the development of the strategy and the funding allocation - which is subject to approval of a full business case to be submitted to the government next year - as an “important milestone”.

The strategy document highlights the need to consider the use of renewable energy for the charging network in order to maximise its green credentials and reduce pressure on the local and national grid - as well as ensuring that the vehicle charging needs of tourists are catered for.

Labour’s opposition group leader on the county council, Azhar Ali, said that it was important that elected representatives “practise what we preach” - and called for EV chargers to be made available for members at County Hall, something which County Cllr Turner pledged to look into.

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Blackburn with Darwen Council has worked with the county council to be a part of the latter’s EV strategy. The borough area will require 825 chargepoints by 2030, up from 46 at the moment.

Lancashire's 12 district councils have all made differing inroads into the challenge of delivering EV charging infrastructure in recent years, with some installing their own facilities and others working with the private sector to expand the network.


The Lancashire council areas with the most charging points per plug-in vehicle:

No.1 Lancaster - 1,000 plug-in vehicles, 85 public charging points - 1 for every 12 vehicles

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No.2 Burnley - 464 plug-in vehicles, 34 public charging points - 1 for every 14 vehicle

No.3 Hyndburn - 477 plug-in vehicles, 29 public charging points - 1 for every 17 vehicles

No.4 South Ribble - 1,032 plug-in vehicles, 57 public charging points - 1 for every 18 vehicles

No.5 Preston - 1,096 plug-in vehicles, 57 public charging points - 1 for every 19 vehicles

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= Wyre - 915 plug-in vehicles, 47 public charging points - 1 for every 19 vehicles

No.7 West Lancashire - 1,345 plug-in vehicles, 66 public charging points - 1 for every 20 vehicles

No.8 Blackburn with Darwen - 966 plug-in vehicles, 46 public charging points - 1 for every 21 vehicles

No.9 Ribble Valley - 779 plug-in vehicles, 34 public charging points -1 for every 23 vehicles

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= Blackpool - 682 plug-in vehicles, 30 public charging points - 1 for every 23 vehicles

No.11 Chorley - 1,188 plug-in vehicles, 46 public charging points - 1 for every 26 vehicles

No.12 Rossendale - 586 plug-in vehicles, 21 public charging points - 1 for every 28 vehicles

No.13 Pendle - 543 plug-in vehicles, 19 public charging points - 1 for every 29 vehicles

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No.14 Fylde - 899 plug-in vehicles, 25 public charging points - 1 for every 36 vehicles

Source: Department for Transport, with Local Democracy Reporting Service analysis


There are four broad types of EV charging facility:

Slow chargers - best used for overnight charging and usually take between six and 12 hours for a pure electric vehicle.

Fast chargers - typically fully charge an electric vehicle in 4-6 hours.

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Rapid chargers - charge the majority of electric vehicles to 80 percent level in around 30-60 minutes (depending on battery capacity) and will fully charge in 1-2 hours.

Ultra-Rapid chargers - currently the fastest class of chargers available in the UK, typically charging electric vehicles in between 20 and 40 minutes.

Source: Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Electric Vehicle Infrasructure Strategy


Lancashire will be split into five zones to help determine where electric vehicle chargers need to be installed in order to meet demand.

Off Street

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Zones where the properties are largely residential and mostly have access to off-street parking and charging.

Public need

Zones where the properties are largely residential, but do not have access to off-street parking and charging - and so will rely on public infrastructure.


Zones where there is a high proportion of retail and commercial units which could be expected to deliver their own charging infrastructure for customers and staff, such as supermarkets.


Zones where a high level of tourist traffic should be expected, which could be asked to pay a "differential amount" for EV charging.

Minimum need

Zones where there is little residential or commercial activity and so minimal need for charging infrastructure.