EV Zap MapOf all the many issues brought up by the need to get the Moorlands to Net Zero by 2030, EV charging infrastructure is one that excites more attention than most from members of the public – and elected councillors. As the accompanying ZapMap shows EV charging points in the Moorlands are few and far between. Across the country it remains a postcode lottery with those areas of the country nearest the Moorlands much badly served then in the South.

SMDC’s official strategy is to wait for the County to come up with its plan; if that is deemed not acceptable for the Moorlands then a ‘Plan B’ will be rolled out. This involves four public spaces each in Biddulph, Cheadle and Leek. It is fair to say that this strategy was not one that inspired much support in any part of the council chamber when it was unveiled earlier this year. As with other parts of the move towards electrification of daily life, the increase in EV usage will eventually place extra demands on the local electricity network.

As part of our preparation for the Energy Fair, MCA did a substantial amount of research into the state of the network. Large amounts of this information are publicly available, some not and all conclusions are very provisional. It does seem that for the near future, local substations will be able to accommodate demand, including that for EV charging. But substantial investment will be needed to make the local network both more flexible – and robust – in the face of heightened and changing electricity demand.

This is already showing in the local planning system, with application for solar farms and battery storage necessarily being concentrated along the corridor made by the main 400kV power line that runs from North to South through the main Cellarhead substation. These planning decisions are currently being made in a vacuum of information about future electricity needs, including that for transport. MCA believes this is an information gap that could and should be closed.