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Roll out of electric vehicle chargepoints ‘needs location data’

Chargepoint marking on ground
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The Geospatial Commission has emphasised the importance of location data in developing a national network of chargepoints for electric vehicles (EVs).

It has published a report on the issue and announced three initiatives aimed at supporting the roll out of a network.

First it will run a feasibility study on how to widen access to demand modelling, to provide planners with data driven evidence for identifying how many and what types of chargepoints need to go where and by when.

Second is to explore the creation of a geospatial dataset for off-street parking to help planners identify suitable sites. Third is to support the Government in making chargepoint data more findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR) and tracking how market innovators use the data to create new services.

The report says that location data can support the faster roll out of chargepoints and help to ensure they are situated in the right places to encourage drivers to switch to EVs.

Capability gap

But modelling demands access to datasets and technical know-how, and there is a capability gap among local authorities. While it is now possible to combine multiple datasets to understand the demand in a given area, the use of location data is currently the exception rather than the rule.

The report also makes the point that some councils have begun developing chargepoint delivery strategies, but these have so far been localised and tactical, and needs to become more strategic as the pace of implementation increases. They will have to be more responsive to demand and more proactive in identifying sites that are unserved.

The Geospatial Commission outlines four challenges that location data can help to overcome: modelling future demand; finding suitable sites; creating a seamless user experience; and tracking the roll out.

Minister of State, Cabinet Office, Baroness Neville Rolfe, said: “The UK must have an electric vehicle chargepoint network that works for the entire country.

“The Geospatial Commission’s report highlights how location data can help build the right infrastructure in the right places. Drivers will then have the confidence to switch to EVs in the knowledge that they will be able to charge them easily and efficiently and not be delayed in reaching their destination wherever it is.”

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