Charge point

North Northants Council leads the charge on-street EV infrastructure  

April 2022

Believ helps local authorities deploy an electric vehicle infrastructure for their residents simply, cost-effectively and affordably.  

Our partnership with North Northamptonshire to install over 50 electric vehicle charge points across the region is just one example of how we work and get the job done. 

The Challenge: Finding a charge point operator

North Northants Council is a moderately sized local authority which wanted to provide a local EVCP infrastructure for residents, but they faced several challenges.  

Finding a Charge Point Operator willing to invest in EVCP infrastructure was difficult. After talking to several charge point operators, North Northants could not find one willing to install EVCPs in residential areas without a subsidy. That would be expensive for the local authority – and difficult to justify because local residents appeared disinterested.  

Residents had little desire to switch to EVs or use an EVCP infrastructure. 
Every quarter data from DVLA records and from the Open Charge Point map are used to predict the growth of EV ownership and EVCP installations across the UK. North Northants consistently falls behind the national (and sub-regional) average growth rate.

The risk of local market failure was high for North Northants – just as it is for many moderately sized towns and smaller conurbations across the country.  EVCP coverage in larger towns and cities continues at pace and ownership of EVs accelerates, in part driven by the density of the local population. The remote or rural areas which are more sparsely populated risk being left on the fringes of EVCP coverage. As North Northants realised public sector intervention was vital to avoid the risk of market failure and of failing to serve their residents’ needs. 

Public/Private Delivery Model: 

North Northants Council chose Believ to address the EV charging needs of residents’ who live without a driveway or any means of privately recharging their cars.  

It was chosen because Believ offers a fully funded solution to the local authority. The company takes responsibility for owning, operating and maintaining EVCP installations, and any inherent liabilities, now and in the future. 

Also, Believ’s strategic delivery partnership with Virgin Media 02 provides North Northants with enough resources and capability to install the infrastructure quickly and consistently.  

How the project has made a difference 

North Northants Council asked residents where they would like EV charge points installed. Their answers helped identify the areas of highest demand and the best places for the EV charging infrastructure.   

Residents now have easy, convenient access to charge points and can travel sustainably across the whole borough.  This will give reluctant residents greater encouragement to switch to electric vehicles, and current EV drivers will receive greater support. 

The local communities also benefit from much lower carbon emissions and improved air quality across North Northants.  

Adopting the wider EV infrastructure is helping the Council achieve its local environment and sustainability strategy. Over the next eight years North Northants aims to fulfil several landmark promises – from increasing intelligent urban greening, to banning diesel cars from the Council office estate, and increasing the use of Electric Vehicles by local residents. 

How the project engaged the local economy 

Installing the EV infrastructure across the region doesn’t just support the move to low carbon transportation, it creates additional economic, social and environmental value to the local business and residential communities across North Northants.  

Believ are supporting and upskilling local businesses, so they receive the benefit from subcontracting opportunities, keeping employment and revenue in the local community.  

The EV infrastructure project will need a workforce with specific skills to implement and run the network. Believ help the council to identify those future needs and create a framework to align training and employment support. The company focusses on local residents not only by providing the right EV infrastructure, but also providing work experience, training and employment in environmental and digital skills to run and sustain that infrastructure locally. 

These commitments are more than just wishes. Volkers Highways, Believs’ EVCP installation partner has already employed local residents onto the crew teams who are currently installing the EVCPs across North Northants. 

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