SOSCI EV Chargepoints

Frequently Asked Questions

for Hosts of Charge My Street EV Charge Points

Q: What’s the aim of this project?

A: The ultimate aim of the project is to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the UK by encouraging more people to use electric vehicles. Our project will help to achieve this by installing around 200 electric vehicle charge points in the north of England and across the UK. We will focus on two ‘areas’: rural areas and areas in which there are significant numbers of homes without driveways or off-street parking, particularly terraced housing and flats. We want to ensure that everyone living in urban and rural areas is within a 5 minute walk of an EV charge point. Our project also wishes to test new ways of funding electric vehicle charge points through community ownership, based on the existing ‘Charge My Street’ model. In some instances, we will also be testing how renewables can be integrated with the charge points.

Q: Why should I choose your electric vehicle charge points rather than one from a different provider?

A: Because we want the transition to a low carbon world to be fair, not just rapid, our charge points are owned by the community. This ownership allows people an important stake in their own future and provides confidence that the installation and management of the charge point will not financially exploit the host. Our EV charge points and mobile phone software is designed by market leaders to ensure compatibility across the UK and Europe. And once the installation phase is complete, we won’t just disappear like some other providers – we’ll be there to maintain the charge points and to support a network of ‘charge point champions’ to help users. So whilst you might not make a ‘fast buck’ out of us, we won’t be making a fast buck out of you either! Instead, we can both focus on making a real and fair difference to our community and our planet.

Q: How do I register my interest and find out more about what’s on offer?

A: Register you interest through www.chargemystreet.co.uk  Simply click on the ‘Suggest’ link: and fill in your details together with the location of where you would like to install a charge point in your community or premises. (Please check ‘Essential Criteria’ to check that you’re eligible!).    

Q. Where can I get more information?

A. Please read all of the Frequently Asked Questions first – you’ll probably find the answer below! If you then need additional information, you can call one of the project officers: If you live in County           Durham, please call Tracy Millmore, Electric Vehicle Project Officer on 03000 268034.

If you live anywhere else, please call 01524 881227 and ask for Ady Powell.

Q: What sort of help is available?

A: Charge My Street and its partners may be able to install, operate and manage up to two fast charge points at your property, depending on eligibility. Once you have registered, then a project officer will get in contact to discuss your ambitions, as well as the opportunities and challenges you might face. One of our staff may then carry out an initial site survey to assess the viability of your site for a fast charger or chargers. The project may be able to fund up to 100% of the cost of installation (see next question) and carry out the physical installation. Drivers can charge their vehicles using our dedicated smartphone apps. In special and limited instances, Charge My Street might also be able to support the integration of solar photovoltaics (solar PV) with battery storage and an EV charge point. Finally, the project will train ‘Charge Point Champions’ at many sites to raise the profile of the chargepoint(s) and to answer any questions that users might have.

Q: How much will it cost our organisation?

A: The aim of this project is to ensure that the cost of installation and operation is ‘cost neutral’ to you and your organisation; in many cases, there will be no cost at all to charge point hosts. The partnership will pay for as much of the capital installation costs as possible, with our total contribution depending on the number of charge points you wish to install, and any upgrades to the grid or changes to parking bays required. You may, however, be asked to help raise local investment. (see ‘Share Offer’ FAQ).

Q: Who is funding this and why?

A: Innovate UK is the principal external funder, though many of the programme partners are also contributing to the programme financially. Innovate UK is a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. The organisation was established to provide financial support to innovation that adds value to the UK economy. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/innovate-uk

Q: Who are the partners?

A: The partnership is made up of social enterprise companies, charities, private businesses and local authorities, with specialisms ranging from EV infrastructure installation, to energy supply, software development, data analysis, finance, community engagement and project management. The principal lead is Cybermoor Services Ltd, a social enterprise with a track record of delivering innovative infrastructure programmes such as the roll out of broadband across the community of Alston in the Pennines. The partnership reports regularly to Innovate UK.

The partnership comprises: Bay Cameras and Communications, Blackhall Mill Community Association, Carlisle City Council, Charge My Street, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Cybermoor Services Ltd, Durham County Council, EO Charging, Miralis, South Lakeland District Council, Vattenfall.

Q: What’s the difference between ‘SOSCI’, Charge My Street and Durham County Council?

A: ‘SOSCI’ refers to the name of the project – ‘Scaling On-Street Charging Infrastructure’.

Charge My Street (www.chargemystreet.co.uk) is a community benefit society which has been installing community-owned charge points for a number of years across Cumbria and Lancashire.  This community-based company is delivering the project, supported by the other SOSCI partners.

Durham County Council are spearheading the delivery of the project in County Durham.

Q: How do we know we can trust Charge My Street and its partners?

A: All partners involved in this project are first vetted by the UK’s Innovate UK Team. Charge My Street is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and has been registered with the FCA since 2018. The rules governing the company state that once the cost of capital is repaid together with any operational costs, then any ‘profit’ (known as a ‘surplus’) must be redirected for the benefit of the community. Members may receive an annual interest payment on their loan, within the limits of a Community Benefit Society. In this regard, Charge My Street creates a circular economy of investment and benefit.

 

About your organisation as a potential host of an EV charge point:

Q: Who is potentially eligible to receive support from Charge My Street?

A: Any organisation (community, local authority, business, school, health centre, shop, pub etc.) can be a charge point host, but you do need to meet the essential criteria below:

Q: What are the ESSENTIAL CRITERIA for being a potential EV charge point host?

A:  The essential criteria for hosting an EV charge point are:

  • There is a reliable mobile signal at the site and / or open broadband available.
  • You are able to confirm with certainty (i.e. Land Registry documents etc.) that you own the site or have permission from the owner to host an electric vehicle charge point.
  • Off-street car parking is available for at least one EV at the site.
  • You are happy to allow the public to use the EV charge point(s) during the day or overnight, or both.
  • In order to make the installation viable, you need to have some rationale why you think the charge point would be regularly used by the public, not just on rare occasions. For example, you may be in an area with limited off-street parking, where residents have expressed an interest in access to EV charging and, you are in an area of high tourism, your car park is well-used, or you are part of a popular EV car club.
  • You need to be able to demonstrate that there is support for hosting the charge point within the community / organisation / neighbourhood. For example, you could demonstrate positive feedback from discussions with local residents or EV users, with the parish council, local authority or within your organisation. We need to know it’s not just you who wants a charge point!
  • You have read the Charge My Street contract (www.chargemystreet.co.uk/sites/default/files/ChargePointAgreement190128.pdf) and are happy to sign the contract.
  • Finally, you or someone local in your community or organisation is happy to serve as a ‘Charge Point Champion’ willing to work with Charge My Street to support the process of installation and the initial functioning of the charge point, to report any issues and to provide information to local users if necessary. There will be training and support material provided, as well as Charge My Street online and phone support.

Q: Once I know we can meet the essential criteria, what happens next and how long will the process take?

A: Firstly, if you meet the essential criteria, register your interest through www.chargemystreet.co.uk. A Project Officer will then contact you within 3 weeks of you registering an interest.

Following discussion with a Project Officer, we will then arrange for a technical site visit to assess the requirements and cost of the install. We will notify you within 4 weeks of the technical site visit of whether we are able to help you.

The Partnership has a target to install 200 charge points by Spring 2021. This is a tight timetable! The partnership has therefore developed an additional set of criteria by which we will prioritise installation.

Q: How many charge points could be supported at any one site?

A: As a guide, you should expect that we would pay for up to two fast-charge points.

Q: Who will maintain the charge point?

A: If you are in County Durham, Vattenfall will maintain the charge point.

Outside of County Durham, Charge My Street will maintain the charge point.

Q: Who will actually own the infrastructure?

A: In County Durham, Vattenfall, Durham County Council or Charge My Street will own the infrastructure.

Outside County Durham, Charge My Street will own the infrastructure.

Q: What is a ‘Charge Point Champion?’

A: If you want to help improve the environment, reduce CO2 emissions and help switch more people to quieter electric transport then you would make a great Charge Point Champion.

Charge My Street is supporting local people like you to get electric vehicle charging points into towns and villages like yours across the North of England. 

We are looking for people who can:

      • spot parking spaces where we could potentially put local charge points

      • talk to local people – asking local businesses, churches, community centres, halls, pubs etc. if they would like a free charge point

      • explain the benefits and drawbacks of electric cars to neighbours, friends, colleagues

      • put leaflets through doors and posters up around your neighbourhood

      • help decide where their community charge point will be located

Q: If the charge point is hosted on private property, will the host be expected to allow public access to the charge point?

A:  Yes, this is essential. However, as outlined above (see ‘What are the essential criteria for being an EV charge point host?’) access can be limited to during the day or overnight if required.

Q: What is the nature of the Lease?

A: A 10 year lease, with peppercorn rent.

Hosting a charge point

Q: What if the charge point is damaged?

A: Charge My Street has a maintenance agreement for charge points to be repaired or replaced. In the unlikely event that a car is damaged from using a faulty charge point then our public liability insurance will cover the costs of repair.

Q; What if a car is left overnight and not picked up in the morning, taking up parking spaces?

A: Site hosts will get contact details for local members, so they can contact them directly if the vehicle is blocking access. Members that do not comply will have their membership withdrawn.  

 

Financial Considerations:

Q: Who pays for the electricity that is used, how is this measured and how is this paid for?

A: The EV driver will pay for the electricity he / she uses automatically through a smartphone app. Every time a car charges, the amount of electricity is automatically recorded. If a new electricity supply is installed at your site, the costs of electricity will be covered by Charge my Street or Vattenfall. If the charge point is piggy backing on your electricity supply, at the end of each quarter, we will provide you with details of the electricity we have used at your site, so you can invoice us for the electricity used.  We will then send payment equivalent to the cost of electricity used by Charge My Street (i.e. what you get charged by your electricity user, we will reimburse you for) – so it will not cost you anything, nor will you profit from the use.

Q: Should the host expect to receive a rent for hosting the charge point?

A: Yes, the host will receive peppercorn rent. The benefit to the host accrues in having an EV charge point installed for free or greatly subsidised, in having the EV charge point managed and maintained by Charge My Street or Vattenfall/Durham County Council in County Durham at no cost, and in having the charge point regularly inspected and serviced, as required. The host can, of course, use the charge point for its own vehicles, and the charge point may make the site more attractive to customers and visitors.  Charge My Street is registered with the FCA as a community benefit society – so any profits will be redirected back into communities.

Q: What is the role of a share offer in this project?

A: The share offer serves a number of purposes. Firstly, it helps to raise additional funds for Charge My Street which then allows Charge My Street to purchase additional charge points. A successful share offer also demonstrates the viability and strength of the model of community ownership of assets to the UK government. Finally, the share offer helps the team at Charge My Street to evaluate where the strength of community support for the EV charge point is greatest, allowing the organisation to target resources and to prioritise installation.

 

Environmental Questions

See common myths… https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=6RhtiPefVzM

Q: Surely this project is just getting more private cars on the road?

A: The aim of the project is to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality through the replacement of petrol and diesel engines with electric vehicles. Unfortunately the project funds don’t extend to improving accessibility to public transport or the promotion of walking or cycling, much as we support these as the first choice where they are available and accessible. Where communities are installing a charge point as part of a car share scheme, we will give additional consideration as this has the potential to decrease car ownership in our communities.

Q: I’m worried about the precious metals that are used in electric vehicles?

A: We are aware of concerns with the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries and fully support Amnesty International’s campaign for transparency within the battery supply chain - https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/03/amnesty-challenges-industry-leaders-to-clean-up-their-batteries/

 

Technical Considerations:

This project is focussed on the installation of charge points, not the merits of the large variety of electric vehicles on the market. You may find it useful to go to https://www.nextgreencar.com/ to learn a bit more about the choice on offer.  

Q: What are the different types of charger?

A: Rapid / Fast / Slow charging:

Rapid chargers provide high power EV battery boosts, usually found at service stations.

Fast chargers are more commonplace, allowing full EV charges between 3-8 hours.

Slow chargers charge at about the same power as a kettle, and can take 6-12 hours to fully charge an EV.  More details at https://www.zap-map.com/charge-points/

Q: Will your site be suitable for the installation of a fast charger/s?

A: We have set of criteria for choosing sites which has been created in accordance with the SOSCI project aims and scope. In general terms, we are looking for sites with available parking spaces and 3 phase power.

Q: What will be the process of charging an EV at the charge points?

A: You park up, plug your car into the charge point and then open the app on your phone.  If you have already registered, you select the charge point you are connected to and press start charge.

Power then starts to flow into the car and you can monitor how much electricity your vehicle has received in kWh.  At the end of the charge, you unlock the cable from the car and it automatically releases from the charge point.  You will receive a notification of how much electricity has been used.

Q: Will the software for mobile phones and these charge points be compatible with other charge point sites?

A: Initially no, each charge point operator has an app, but we are working to get our app working with other networks as part of the project.

Q: Can we upgrade existing charge points through this programme?

A: Potentially we can look at upgrading older charge points if they no longer work or do not meet current requirements.

Q: How will EV users be charged for the electricity they use?

A: Customers will pay via their app (InCharge by Vattenfall in County Durham / Charge My Street elsewhere) either on a subscription or “pay as you go” basis.  Full details at: www.goincharge.com/uk/charge-on-the-go/  www.chargemystreet.co.uk/prices

 

Investing (buying shares) in Charge My Street

Q:  How do I invest in Charge my Street

A:  Please register your interest here https://chargemystreet.co.uk/interested and we will send you details when the share offer opens in early 2020.

Q: We don't have an EV but we’re thinking of getting one in the next 2 years.

A: You can still invest and / or host a Charge My Street EV charge point. This project aims to get the infrastructure in place now so you will already have the benefit of a charge point when you do eventually take ownership of an EV.

Q: There are no charge points close to me but I'd like to invest.

You are not restricted in your proximity to a charge point. You will have the option to pledge your investment towards a particular charge point which will allow us to see where there is greatest interest. This only provides an indication of demand and investment will go into the general fund which will cover the installation of all the charge point sites.

My nearest charge point is not getting any investment - how do I progress it?

You can promote the idea to your friends, relatives and neighbours.

What’s the difference between an investor and a member?

Investors have put money into the Society for a local charge point and are also members.

There's a great place near me that could be a super charge point location. How do I go about organising it?

View our page on getting a charge point set up https://chargemystreet.co.uk/get-involved

What happens if a shareholder dies?

You can only nominate property up to £5000 - Section 37 (4) of the 2014 CCBS Act. Any property above £5000 must be added to the estate. This means that whilst you may be eligible for business relief on the shares in the final inheritance tax calculation they are still added to the estate total. This may well have an inheritance tax implications as if it takes the total of the estate above the threshold.  You can also only get the business relief if they owned the assets for more than two years.

It also then has to be distributed through the requirements laid down in the will.

What is the cost comparison between an EV and petrol car?

Money saving – low / free road tax, ULEV / congestion charge exemptions and lower ongoing maintenance costs are all good reasons to buy an EV. Fuel costs are lower than typical ICE vehicles, and can be further reduced by EV / overnight tariffs.

Vehicle

Internal combustion enginge

EV (home charge)

EV (rapid charge)

p/mile

11-20

2-5

8-10

 

Jargon buster

ICE – Internal Combustion Engine, refers to diesel / petrol engine powered cars.

Hybrid – a vehicle with both an electric and fossil fuel powered drivetrain, but no means of plugging in to charge the battery pack. The battery pack is exclusively charged by regenerative braking, with the battery typically used at low speed, about town driving.

PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, cars with both an electric and fossil fuel powered drivetrain. Similar to a hybrid, but the battery pack can be charged by plugging in to a socket. “Electric only” ranges vary from 30 to 90+ miles on one charge. Similar to REx, Range Extenders are BEVs but with small petrol generators to top-up when the batteries run flat, rather than driving the wheels directly.

BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle, the main topic of this guide – cars with no engine, only an electric drivetrain powered by a battery pack. Ranges vary but are now upwards of 250 miles real-world range on a single charge!

kW – kilowatt, a unit of power, the rate of energy transfer.

kWh – kilowatt hour, a unit of energy. Charging speeds are stated in kW, and battery capacity in kWh.

AC – Alternating Current. Standard mains supply to UK houses.

DC – Direct Current, single-phase output. This flows from positive to negative from a battery.

Rapid / Fast / Slow charging – Rapid chargers provide high power EV battery boosts, usually found at service stations. Fast chargers are more commonplace, allowing full EV charges between 3-8 hours. Slow chargers charge at about the same power as a kettle, and can take 6-12 hours to fully charge an EV.

NEDC / WLTP – two different test cycles against which “range” is determined for a vehicle. WLTP is considered the most realistic (less optimistic) of the two.