Infrastructure for electric vehicles in Bedford is not in place

Borough Council called for the government to stop giving people 'misinformation'

Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:02 pm

The infrastructure for electric vehicles is not in place and the government should stop giving people misinformation, a meeting heard.

Bedford Borough Council's Climate Change Committee (Monday, November 15) was told by James Golding-Graham, innovation manager at England's Economic Heartland, that the Committee on Climate Change has suggested that there's a need for about 40,000 plug-in electric vehicles in Bedford by 2030.

Councillor Charles Royden (LibDems, Brickhill Ward) said that when 26 EV chargepoints were installed in a car park a new substation had to be built.

Councillor Charles Royden said that when 26 EV charge points were installed in a car park a new substation had to be built

"How on earth are we going to provide 40,000 vehicles with electricity, and by 2030?" he asked.

Mr Golding-Graham said this is a really significant challenge.

"If we talk to the National Grid, they say that they are comfortable with the provision of the power required to about 2030.

"It's when we start getting into the late 2030s and early 2040s, then we're looking at about a doubling of the amount of low carbon power that the UK needs to produce, which is a hell of an investment.

"The tricky thing isn't necessarily about generating [the power], it's putting it in the right place, as you guys have found when you needed to put in a new substation.

"Between 60 and 70 per cent of people have access to off-street parking. It's the people who don't have access, that's the trick you want to address," he said.

Bedford Borough mayor, Dave Hodgson, said with a recent development the Council had the choice of having EV charging points fitted, or having affordable homes for key workers.

"That's the choice that the developers give us when we have 30 per cent affordable [homes].

"So there's a limit to what [developers] will pay, and I do think it's wrong to have electric charging points against affordable housing," he said.

Councillor Royden said: "I think that it's important to hear messages like that, which ground us in reality. Instead of some of this imaginative thinking from our political leaders which bears no [resemblance] in any shape or form with the reality which we're facing on the ground.

"We're being told that we've got to get rid of gas boilers, but not being given the technology which will be able to take over from it.

"We're being told that we've got to all drive electric cars, and goodness knows where we're going to get all the precious metals, which are being dug out by boys and girls in the Congo

"I just think that we need to be realistic and honest with people.

"The infrastructure just isn't in place, and I do think that people are being given a lot of misinformation by government, and it really must stop," he said.