Allocated parking causes EV charging headache

A DRIVER from Lyde Green is facing a battle to fit a charger for his electric car in his allocated parking space.

Randal Green started making enquiries about having a charger installed a year ago, before buying his EV last summer.

But he has been frustrated because his allocated space is 30m away from his home, on the other side of a small green space owned by a developer who has not allowed cables to be laid under it.

Randal has offered to pay all the costs of the work himself and has also investigated the fire safety and planning aspects of the work, meaning landowner Vistry just has to agree to the work being done.

But the firm has not given permission, instead suggesting that charging cables be laid over the top of the grass area between his flat and the parking space – an idea vetoed by property management company Firstport, which is happy with Randal’s plan to bury them.

Randal, a software engineer who has lived in Lyde Green for eight years, said: “I am sure I am not the only leaseholder of a flat who is having difficulty installing an EV charger.

“I’ve done an awful lot of research to get to this point but the developer isn’t engaging in a conversation about the issue.

“It’s not just about me, it’s to make it easier for anyone else in my position. The developer needs to change.”

Randal bought his Hyundai EV for environmental reasons.

He says charging it at publicly-accessible charging points at peak times uses electricity which is more likely to have come from a fossil fuel-burning power station.

Charging overnight at home means the car is using electricity generated off-peak by renewables such as wind turbines.

He said: “Small things like this can make a large impact.”

Randal contacted Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore, a former energy minister who is leading the Net Zero Review into clean technology, about the issue.

Mr Skidmore said: “I was very concerned to learn about the difficulties Mr Green has experienced in installing an electric vehicle charging point at his allocated parking space.

“Following Mr Green’s initial contact with me I wrote to Greg Fitzgerald, CEO of Vistry Group, to express my concerns on this matter and I am pleased to learn that Vistry Group are now working to resolve this issue.

“I have also written to (roads minister) Richard Holden to raise my general concerns on the barriers facing those who wish to install an electric vehicle charging point near their property.”  

After being contacted by the Voice, a Vistry spokesperson said: “We have only recently been contacted by the resident, we’re reviewing their request and will be in communication with them.”

A law brought in last year now requires every new home with a parking space to have an EV charging point – but builders have no obligation to fit them retrospectively at older developments.

More chargers are being fitted at local car parks, including Sainsbury’s at Emersons Green.

And South Gloucestershire Council has just adopted a new EV charging strategy to encourage parish and town councils to make suitable places for EV chargers known, so that most households in the district are within a mile of a charging point.