The ‘Scaling On Street Charging Infrastructure Project’ (SOSCI) was a programme managed by Cybermoor Ltd and delivered under the social enterprise banner of ‘Charge My Street’ that is registered as a community benefit society. It had 11 partners and a budget of £4,129,573.
The Project had a target of installing 200 electric vehicle chargepoints across the north of England.
The SOSCI Project was designed to address several electric vehicles charging infrastructure challenges that inhibited the uptake of electric vehicles in the North of England. Firstly, the commercial return on investment in charging infrastructure is expected to be very limited in rural areas, with companies preferring to install instead in dense urban areas, supermarkets and existing petrol stations, for example.
Secondly, as it is illegal to run loose power cables across pavements and roads, then residents living in terraced housing in both rural and urban areas are restricted from installing their own domestic charge points. The lack of charge points in both circumstances is therefore seen as a disincentive for residents to purchase either a new or second-hand electric vehicle.
Innovate UK, the sponsor of the fund, was particularly keen to learn the lessons from efforts to address these challenges. As such, the key element of the project has been evaluated.
The Project is considered to have been a success. The project and its ideas have catalysed several other projects across the UK with more under development. The SOSCI project has helped inform Local Authorities thinking about EVCPs, to improve and expand infrastructure in their region. The working relationships between partners are well established and have led to new projects, such as the REVUP project.
The SOSCI project led to the Charge My Street network growing to 142 sockets including installations with Carlisle City Council and South Lakeland District Council. MER and Durham County Council now have a network of 145 sockets because of the project. Leading to an overall total of 287 sockets, exceeding the original target of 200. The consortium has learned a lot from each installation, lessons have been learned and improved on throughout the project, creating new processes for installing chargepoints at different site locations.