The Director of Regeneration submitted a report the purpose of which was to ask the Executive Member for Regeneration to approve the proposals to work in partnership with Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) and contractors EB Chargers to install electric vehicle charging points within Middlesbrough Council operated Car Parks.
The report outlined that Middlesbrough Council was working with TVCA and the four other neighbouring authorities to develop a suite of infrastructure improvements and policy, to ensure consistency for provision across the region.
TVCA had identified an allocation of funding within its Transforming Cites Fund allocation to support the delivery of publicly accessible EV charging points. As part of this programme, TVCA undertook a tender exercise to appoint a preferential supplier to work with. There were a number of differing methods to delivering EV Charging Points (EVCP) ranging from fully funded/maintained at Authority’s expense, to fully operated/installed and managed by a private company.
The report advised that EB Charging provided the most competitive tender model. Their business model worked on the basis of charging end users for the volume of energy that is used during a charging session. As part of the arrangements, TVCA had negotiated a share of the profit, which would be invested back in to the regional programme to deliver further infrastructure improvements.
The net cost to the Council was nil and it benefited from the installation of infrastructure at no cost to the authority, with all associated maintenance and administration costs being borne upon EB Charging. A legal agreement between the organisations established the requirements and expectations from all parties. There were no restrictions to the minimum number of chargers to be installed, or that EB was a sole provider of EVCP in Middlesbrough; enabling the Council to enter into similar arrangements with other providers at any time in the future.
Other potential decisions and why those have not been recommended:
Do nothing. This was not recommended, as the Council needed to provide EVCP facilities aligned with increasing demand across its own workforce and any other electric vehicle using its network. Doing nothing would not help the Council to realise the benefits of EV uptake.
Invest the Council’s own resources in to the provision of EVCP. The cost assessment to provide the proposed infrastructure improvements was £230k. This required a significant capital investment that was currently not budgeted for. This approach exposed an element of risk to the authority if uptake was not sufficient to make a return on the investment. This proposed approach may be profitable to EB/TVCA, but this would be monitored, and the Council has opportunities to invest in its own charging facilities at any time.
The Council undertakes its own “procurement exercise” and appoints a similar contract of its own. This had been dismissed, as under the current arrangements, TVCA have been able to benefit from economies of scale due to being able to provide a regional market opportunity. If the Council was to undertake a similar procurement exercise, it is believed that the returned tender offers would not be as viable in terms of overall benefit. This would also mean that the Council would not benefit from the regional policy / approach being developed and would have to implement its own strategies.
That the proposal for the Council to work with Tees Valley Combined Authority and contractors EB Chargers to install Electric Vehicle Charging Points at key Council operated Car Parks within Middlesbrough be approved.
The decisions were supported by the following reason:
The proposal would allow the Council to provide a suite of EV Charging Points at no cost to the authority, while supporting TVCA to further invest into the charging network in Middlesbrough.