West Sussex-wide electric vehicle charging network plans hit a bump in the road

Plans for a countywide electric vehicle charging strategy in West Sussex have hit a bump in the road.

The strategy, which had the support of all district and borough councils, except for Chichester, aimed to set up a string of charging points across the county.

In November, it was announced that Liberty Charge would supply the network, with a seven year contract due to start on February 1.

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But that seems to have come to a grinding halt.

A council spokesman said: “West Sussex County Council, in partnership with Horsham, Adur and Worthing, Mid Sussex, Arun and Crawley district and borough councils, has taken the difficult decision to cease its current electric vehicle (EV) charge point network procurement. 

“This exercise sought to identify and appoint a supplier to plan, fund, install and operate a county-wide EV charging infrastructure. 

“The announcement is due to changes requested by the winning supplier post contract award.”

With around 161,000 electric vehicles expected to have taken to the county’s roads by 2030, more than 7,000 charging points will be needed to cope with demand.

The spokesman said all councils involved ‘remain committed to establishing an accessible, county-wide charging network’.

They added: “Officers and members will now take time to review options and next steps and it’s hoped a new arrangement can be progressed later this year.”