Local authorities advised on using location data to help position EV chargepoints

A new report from the Geospatial Commission aims to help local authorities select the most appropriate sites for electric vehicle  chargepoint installations.

The Geospatial Commission, part of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, was established in 2018 to be responsible for setting the UK’s geospatial strategy. Their aim is to ‘unlock the significant economic, social and environmental opportunities offered by location data, applications and services and to advance the UK’s global geospatial expertise.’

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The new report explores the breadth of location data and applications available to support local authority decisions about where to install new chargepoints and identifies five opportunities to better use existing location data in order to:

• Understand the location and availability of existing chargepoints by making chargepoint operator data standardised and consistent: More accessible and standardised data about the location of chargepoints will help local authorities plan for provision and improve the charging experience for the consumer.

• Understand consumer charging behaviour and travel patterns by using population movement data: Understanding the movement of people can help local authorities meet demand by identifying origin-destination flows, areas of high utilisation of chargepoints and dwell times

• Identify the location of EVs by using commercially-held data about leased vehicles: Existing data reflects where EVs are registered but not necessarily where they are located if they are leased or rented. This data is held by the private sector. There is a mutually-beneficial opportunity for the public and private sectors to test safe and commercially sensitive ways to unlock this data.

• Identify existing electricity network capacity through better use of distribution network operator data: Knowing the availability of electricity network capacity in a specific location and the cost of new grid connections can help local authorities more efficiently meet demand.

• Identify areas without off-street parking by using proxy data: Identifying off-street parking locations helps local authorities understand where public on-street charging is required. The government is developing a national-level dataset to provide local authorities with a percentage of dwellings with and without off-street parking.

Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive, Transport for the North, yesterday said: ‘High quality location data plays a critical role in enabling better decision making on how society can make a rapid transition to achieving a low carbon economy.

‘Location data and analysis is a vital component of our work at Transport for the North to underpin activities outlined in our regional Strategic Transport Plan, such as supporting our local authorities EV charging planning and delivery, and facilitating private sector investment to drive EV chargepoint rollout.’

Steve Ward, Decarbonisation Programme Manager, Transport for Wales, yesterday said: ‘Good quality location data is essential to us helping the public and private sectors collaborate to identify and develop sites for electric vehicle charging. We have worked with datasets from a large number of sources to develop modelling tools that indicate which locations are more suitable for commercially-funded charging facilities, and which could be unlocked by targeting investment in improving electricity supply capacity.

‘We are sharing the outputs of our mapping with all stakeholders, including the electricity Distribution Network Operators, who are using this data to plan ahead of anticipated demand for charging hotspots.’


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