A new study by Cumbria Action for Sustainability has found that an estimated 70 public chargepoints would need to be installed every month for the next 9 1/2  years in Cumbria to meet expected demand for electric vehicles by residents and tourists.

CAfS undertook the complex task of forecasting the potential demand for publicly accessible chargepoints across Cumbria by 2030, as a partner in a project to install community-owned chargepoints across the north of England, led by Charge My Street and funded by Innovate UK.

Nigel Jenkins from our EV team created the report, with peer support from several sustainable transport specialists.

Download the full report below:

Electric Vehicle Charging Deployment in Cumbria – Analysis & Forecasting

Here are a few of the key take-aways from the report, which show the need for all sorts of sectors in Cumbria – from businesses and local authorities to the tourism sector – to start driving a rapid increase in the county’s EV infrastructure. These should be viewed bearing in mind that forecasting 9.5 years into the future is an extremely complex business, especially in a sector that is rapidly evolving. Nevertheless, the following findings should make all stakeholders consider the implications for their organisation, stakeholders and customers alike:

  1. As of May 2021, Zap-Map listings include 139 chargepoint locations / 259 connectors currently in Cumbria.
  2. It is a likely requirement that by 2030 between 2,100 and 6,400 public chargepoints will be needed to service residents’ needs in Cumbria.
  3. Meanwhile each year the number of visitors to Cumbria in peak times adds up to 50% to our population (even more so in certain honeypots) and many of these visitors will, in future, travel to the county by EV.
  4. It is not unreasonable (even as a conservative forecast) that the above projections for public chargepoints should therefore be increased by at least 50% to service visitors’ charging needs…..so between 3,150 and 9,600 public chargepoints by 2030.
  5. Cumbria must also fully consider servicing the charging needs for the commercial sector and for through traffic, including major arterial routes such as the M6 / A66 / A69.
  6.  These forecasts suggest that, using a mid figure, 70 new chargepoints could need to be installed every month for the next 9 ½ years to 2030 (as an indication of the current rate of expansion of the public charging network in Cumbria, in the 5 months to May-21 there were just 32 chargepoint connectors added on Zap-Map listings).
  7. These forecasts must be seen as indications of orders of magnitude, not as absolute values.
  8. Few public organisations have set any of their own targets, and those that have are significantly underestimating the demand.
  9. A range of significant implications follow these forecasts, including: meeting the county’s climate change targets; electricity supply capacity; co-ordination and interoperability of charging systems; social inclusion; tourism management; planning policies; logistics for business, public bodies and emergency services; training, skills and employment; and the capacity to install, operate and maintain a public charging network at the scale needed.
  10. Currently the expansion of the charging network is largely market driven, and it is very clear that without appropriate intervention there are risks that people, communities and business may inadvertently be left marginalised or even excluded from the switch to electric transport.

CAfS hopes that the report will support those planning for Cumbria’s future, but in tandem with redoubled efforts to reduce private car use wherever possible and encourage the use of other modes of sustainable transport.