electric vehicle chargers in a public car park

EV infrastructure supported by location data

Today, the Geospatial Commission has published a new report that aims to support local authorities as they make decisions on where EV infrastructure should be installed.

The installation of a dependable public charging network is essential to the success of the transition to electric vehicles, with location data helping to give local authorities the evidence that they need to fully roll out a charging network that gives their communities confidence to make journeys. Not only is this confidence important to those who are already using electric vehicles but is also crucial in the mission to increase the number of people using zero emission vehicles.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, Viscount Camrose, said:

“The transition to electric vehicles is central to the government’s plan to decarbonise the transport sector, keep the UK at the forefront of clean transport and tackle pollution, all while seizing the potential for growth and job creation in the UK’s growing EV industry.

“Local authorities and the wider sector should continue to embrace new location data and analysis to accelerate the targeted rollout of chargepoints so that drivers can find and access reliable chargepoints wherever they live.”

Location EV data graphic

Whilst the number of charge points is important, the location is also crucial, The report published by the Geospatial Commission, titled Charging Ahead: Using location data to boost local EV chargepoint rollout, looks into location data and applicates that are available to support the decisions made by local authorities regarding where new charge points should be installed. It also identifies five ways that existing location data can be used better, including:

  • Understanding the location and availability of existing chargepoints by making the data from charge point operators consistent and standardised.
  • Understanding consumer charging behaviour and patterns of travel using population movement data.
  • Identifying the location of electric vehicles through commercially held data on leased vehicles.
  • Identifying the existing capacity of the electricity network through improved use of distribution network operator data.
  • Identifying areas that don’t have off-street parking by using proxy data.

The Geospatial Commission has been leading a multi-year programme that highlights the opportunities for using advanced geospatial applications in the transport sector, with this helping to support the mission to make transport networks more efficient, greener, and safer. This programme has already identified that location data can be used to improve the future of mobility and support the next generation of transport networks.

Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, added:

“Good quality location data is essential to us helping the public and private sectors collaborate to identify and develop sites for electric vehicle charging. We have worked with datasets from a large number of sources to develop modelling tools that indicate which locations are more suitable for commercially funded charging facilities, and which could be unlocked by targeting investment in improving electricity supply capacity.

“We are sharing the outputs of our mapping with all stakeholders, including the electricity Distribution Network Operators, who are using this data to plan ahead of anticipated demand for charging ‘hotspots.”


Image credit: iStock

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