Sustainable Watford

EV Charging Points

In Watford, there are two electric vehicle charging points present in each of these car parks: Avenue, Bushey Arches, Gade, Longspring, Queens, Sutton, Timberlake, Town Hall, Watford Business Park. A 'Rapid Charging Point' which is able to charge vehicles in approximately 20 minutes, is also available for use in 'Service Road Q', just off the northbound side of Beechen Grove.

We have recently installed new electric vehicle charging points in Victoria Road, Bradshaw Road, Durban Road East, Essex Road, Shaftesbury Road and at Cassiobury Park. Potential sites identified for future EV chargers include Stanley Road, Sotheron Road, Sutton Road, Bruce Grove and Granville Road.


Would you like an electric vehicle charger in your street?

Electric vehicle (EV) ownership is growing in Watford and there is an increasing demand for EV charging points, particularly in residential streets where there is little or no off-street parking.

The decision to have an electric vehicle largely depends on the availability of charging points and although there are already many charging points in Watford, like at supermarkets and town centre car parks, the Council is keen to promote the use of EVs by ensuring that residents can enjoy the convenience of charging their plug-in electric vehicles at home.

Each EV charging point is allocated two parking spaces, as two vehicles can charge at the same time. We are aware that parking is limited on many of the streets, but if used by residents, these will not create any additional demand for parking spaces. The chargers are best suited to being used overnight, so non-residents tend not to use them. If the EV charging bay is within a Controlled Parking Zone, the vehicle must display the appropriate resident or visitor permit for that Zone.

We consider safety, positioning and other restrictions when selecting the locations for the chargers.

Watford Borough Council would like to hear from residents who are interested in having an electric vehicle charger installed in their street. However, currently, we will only consider EV charging points in roads where there is little or no off-street parking.

If there is sufficient interest from properties in a street, we will conduct a consultation to evaluate the approval of local residents. We cannot guarantee that every enquiry will result in a new EV charging point, but each case will be considered on its merits and feasibility. It also helps us to plan for the future as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more popular.

If you are interested in having an electric vehicle charging point installed in your street, please email TID@watford.gov.uk


Where can I charge my electric vehicle in Watford?

You can charge your car at many locations, like at the supermarket, etc. Some businesses provide free charging as an incentive to visit their premises. There are several charging points in Watford. Most of the town centre public car parks have EV charging points. In addition, “Electric Blue”, in association with Watford Borough Council, have installed chargers in some residential areas such as Bradshaw Road, Victoria Road, Durban Road East, Shaftesbury Road and Essex Road. There is also a charging point in Cassiobury Park car park.

If the EV charging bay is within a Controlled Parking Zone, the vehicle must display the appropriate resident or visitor permit for that Zone.

You can also find other chargers by visiting www.zap-map.com, which plots all charging points in Watford and throughout the UK.

How do I charge my vehicle?

You’ll need to bring your own charging cable and often need to download a smartphone app or use the QR code scanner on your smartphone to start your charge (although in some cases it’s as simple as just plugging in).  Each charge point is fitted with simple instructions for use, or follow the instructions on the app.

To access the “Electric Blue” chargers you will need to download the Electric Blue smartphone app from the AppStore or GooglePlay or from electricblueuk.com. Membership is free and you only pay for the electricity you use. If you do not have access to the app you can purchase an ID card for £10 by contacting Electric Blue.

How much does it cost to charge?

Costs vary depending on the charging point provider. “Electric Blue” charging currently costs 32p per kilowatt hour (kWh) to charge a vehicle from the charging points. The charger has an output of 7kW an hour so for a 4-hour charge it would be 28kW x 0.32pkWh = £8.96. A vehicle like a 40kW Nissan Leaf would get a 70-75% battery charge in 4 hours.

How long does it take to charge?

It depends on the output of the charger. For example, the Electric Blue charge points are rated at 7kW and are designed for residential charging. The exact charging time will depend upon how big the vehicle battery is, and the charge level that currently remains in your vehicle battery. To get an idea of the charging time, divide the battery size or available capacity by the charge point rating: e.g. an empty 40kW battery at a 7kW charging speed = approximately 6 hours to full charge.

Are the parking bays reserved for electric/plug-in hybrid vehicles only?

Yes. Residents with regular (non-EV) vehicles cannot use these bays for parking. If the EV charging bay is within a Controlled Parking Zone, the vehicle must display the appropriate resident or visitor permit for that Zone.

Are the electric vehicle charging point easy to find?

The spaces are marked, so they can be easily identified as electric vehicle charging bays.

What type of charging points are they?

The fast chargers are suitable for both fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles which can be charged using standard Type 2 universal connectors. Each charge point is fitted with simple instructions for use.

How long can an electric car park at the on-street chargers?

Residents can top up for a maximum of four hours in the day from 8am–8pm, or take a full charge overnight from 8pm until 8am the next morning. Cars that stay longer than the permitted hours are subject to enforcement.

Can any electric car use the charging points?

Yes, so long as it can use a type 2 plug. This is standard for nearly every electric vehicle (EV). The charge points are suitable for charging plug-in hybrids as well as pure EVs.

Can other vehicles use the space if there are no electric cars using it?

No; we want to keep these spaces clear for those with an electric vehicle. To park in the bay, the vehicle must be plugged in to an electricity supply, otherwise a penalty charge notice may be issued. If the EV charging bay is within a Controlled Parking Zone, the vehicle must display the appropriate resident or visitor permit for that Zone.

Are the electric charging parking bays enforceable?

Yes - we want to make sure these spaces are kept clear so people can charge their vehicle when they need to. To park in the bay, the vehicle must be plugged in to an electricity supply, otherwise a penalty charge notice may be issued.

Does the charge point make any noise when a car is charging?

No, there is no noise emission from the charge point.

Who should I report problems with charging points to?

Details can be found on the charging point.

How are areas chosen for charging points?

Until now, charging electric vehicles has normally happened off-street in car parks, garages and driveways. The number of electric vehicles on the road is growing in Watford. The residential streets where the houses do not have off-street parking were chosen for this project after a consultation in 2017 with local residents to make plug-in electric vehicles more accessible to people who do not have driveways, so that residents can enjoy the convenience and value of charging their plug-in electric vehicles at home.

What consultation was held?

The consultation was hosted online using a website. Residents were asked whether they support the installation of electric vehicle charging points within the borough as a whole and were also asked to comment on the specific locations proposed in their own area.

To advertise the consultation, ‘postcards’ were delivered to each property, directing them to the consultation website. In addition, street notices were erected within the consultation area and the council’s social media accounts posted links to the website.

We wrote to residents to inform them that the charge points would be installed in/near their streets. We encourage residents to give us their feedback following the installation of the charge points. We want to hear about any problems that are experienced after the period following their installation.

Are any more charging points planned in Watford?

Following the initial installation project we will be looking at where members of the public want the next phase of chargers to be located, this will be based on the previous consultation outcome.

Why is Watford Borough Council doing this?

In July 2019, we declared a climate emergency and set out our commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of the borough and of the council itself. Our ambitious goal is to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030 and this will require all of us making big changes to the way we live and work.

How is the Council scheme being funded?

75% of the funding for securing and installing the charge points comes from a government grant (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) specifically for charge points in residential areas. The remainder is by arrangement between Electric Blue and Watford Borough Council.

What about the Impact on existing parking pressures?

The charge points are being installed for the benefit of residents, and if used by residents will not create any additional demand for parking spaces. We are aware that parking is limited on many streets and we consider safety, positioning and other restrictions when selecting the locations for the chargers. The chargers are best suited to being used overnight, so it would not be worthwhile for a non-resident to make a special trip.

How do I request a charging point in my street?

Please contact your local councillor or email TID@watford.gov.uk

What incentives are there to install a charge point at my home or business?

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme provides grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle chargepoints at domestic properties.

The Workplace Charging Scheme is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations. More information on these incentives can be found at: gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles

What incentives are there to buy an electric car?

You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. You do not need to do anything if you want to buy one of these vehicles - the dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price. The maximum grant available for cars is £3,500. Not all low-emission vehicles will get a grant. Only vehicles that have been approved by the government are eligible for a grant. For further information, visit gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants.

As EVs become more mainstream, the costs are dropping rapidly and there are a wide variety of benefits for drivers making the switch. From the environmental impact to the savings you can make on fuel, tax and maintenance costs, electric vehicles could help you save significant amounts of money. On a cost per mile basis a fully electric car could cost you a quarter or less of what a traditional petrol or diesel car might. These savings quickly add up. For further information on savings and benefits, visit goultralow.com/ev-owners/benefits/

More information

For more information about fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, benefits, costs, mileage range, charging, tariffs and much more, visit www.goultralow.com

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