Electric vehicle charging information

Electric vehicles offer a range of advantages, including air quality and economic benefits. The Government has announced the phase out date for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be brought forward to 2030.

Meeting this ambition is going to require a step change in the availability of electric vehicles (EVs) charging infrastructure, also known as charge points. 

Cumbria County Council is working with the District Councils, the National Parks, Electricity North West, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and other partners to support and facilitate the uptake of electric vehicle charging opportunities across the county. Our overarching objective is to work with partners to ensure our residents and visitors to Cumbria have adequate coverage of convenient and affordable electric vehicle charge points available to use.

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are cars or vans where the petrol or diesel engine is replaced or supplemented by battery powered electric motors. There are 4 main types of electric vehicle:

  • Full EV (BEV) - A vehicle solely powered by batteries which needs to be plugged in to be charged
  • Plug in range extended EV (E-REV) - A vehicle powered by batteries, but with a small petrol/diesel generator fitted, that can help extend the range of the vehicle by topping up the batteries while driving
  • Plug in hybrid (PHEV) - A vehicle which can be powered both by electric and a conventional diesel/petrol. It can both be plugged in and fuelled conventionally. The vehicle is driven by either or both engines to generate maximum efficiency
  • Conventional hybrid - In a sense, the opposite of the range extended EV, these vehicles have a conventional petrol/diesel engine and supporting electric motor.
  • Reduced pollution mile for mile from emissions
  • Reduced cost of refuelling. It costs around to 2.5p per mile for fuel, compared with around 11p per mile for a petrol-fuelled car (assuming fuel costs £1.25 per litre and the car gets 50 mpg)
  • Reduced noise pollution - electric vehicles are almost silent, enhancing the quality of the environment
  • The Government is currently offering grants of £3,000 to reduce the costs of buying an electric vehicle
  • The vehicles can be charged using any standard three pin plug
  • The vehicles are exempt from road tax and congestion charges.

Electric motors have very few moving parts and don't need fluids such as engine oil, anti-freeze or transmission fluid, so they require relatively little maintenance.

There are 3 ways you can charge your electric vehicle:

Slow charging

  • defined as a charge rate of less than 7kW
  • takes 6 to 12 hours to fully charge this way

Fast charging

  • defined as a charge rate of between 7kW and 22kW
  • takes 2 to 6 hours to fully charge in this manner

Rapid charging

  • defined as a charge rate of more than 22kW
  • usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to provide a charge of up to 80%

The above is only a guide, as battery capacity increases, this may change, new and used vehicles may also have different charge times. You can estimate the cost with the public charging calculator.

For further advice on EV charging, visit the Energy Saving Trust Energy Saving Trust charging-electric-vehicles advice.

For more information and advice on low emission vehicles, please visit the Go Ultra Low website.

Contact us by email at evchargingpoints@cumbria.gov.uk

Across the UK there are thousands of charging stations situated in service stations and other locations on major trunk roads throughout the UK. More and more town centres, supermarkets and workplaces are introducing EV charging points. 

The Zap-map displays a map with the locations and providers of the charge-points, the type of charge, its availability and the fee for use (if applicable).

The number of public charging points is growing all the time. To find your nearest charging point, try these sites:

There are a number of charging points provided by Cumbria County Council located at ten sites in the county. These are available for public use at the sites listed below.

Electric Vehicle charge points for public use are available at the following locations:

TownLocationPostcodeCharger type
CarlisleOpposite Rural Payments Agency, Lowther StreetCA3 8QGRapid 50KW Fast 7KW
CarlisleCitadel Car ParkCA3 8ANRapid 50KW Fast 7KW
KendalCar park at County Offices, Busher WalkLA9 4RQRapid 50KW Fast 7KW
WorkingtonCar park at Allerdale House, Griffin StreetCA14 3YJRapid 50KW Fast 7KW
WhitehavenSenhouse Street car park, Senhouse StreetCA28 7ESRapid 50KW
KeswickCentral Car Park, Heads RoadCA12 5DFRapid 50KW Fast 7KW
UlverstonBrewery Street car park, Brewery StreetLA12 7HURapid 50KW
Kirkby StephenChristian Head car park, Christian HeadCA17 4HARapid 50KW
Kirkby LonsdaleNew Road car park, New RoadLA6 2ADRapid 50KW
AmblesideLow Fold car park, Lake RoadLA22 0DNRapid 50KW

We are now working to install a total of 30 new charge points at locations in Carlisle, Kendal, Workington and Maryport.

Many EV owners charge their car either at home or at work. Most will choose to install a home charging point to benefit from faster charging speeds and built-in safety features.  A home charging point is sometimes fitted for free when you buy a EV car.

If you own or anticipate buying an electric vehicle and have access to off-street parking you can receive up to 75% (capped at £350, inc VAT) off the total capital costs of a charging. You can find further details at Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure

We recognise that not everyone has off street parking or workplace charging, and we are currently in the process of compiling a detailed list of potential locations for future on-street residential EV chargepoints. We will be reviewing these locations, taking into account of the likely demand, alongside the availability of other proposed publicly available EV chargepoints. If you are interested in being considered for future On Street Charge points please contact us at evchargingpoints@cumbria.gov.uk

If you do charge your car at home, we would like to bring to your attention the following:

  • Charging your vehicle on the street by trailing a cable across the pavement is not permitted
  • Cables across the path, or hanging overhead are a hazard, and it is an offence under The Highways Act to place wires or other apparatus across a path that are likely to post a danger to the public
  • As well as risking a fine, if someone were to trip up and injure themselves, then you can be held responsible
  • At present our advice is that people should not trail cables across public streets in any manner, including the use of a cable protector or cable ramp.

More and more organisations are starting to introduce charge points at workplaces, to provide charge points for those employees who drive electric cars for work purposes or for those who commute to work in an electric vehicle. EV charging at the workplace sends a clear and visible message about where the business stands with reducing environmental impact and carbon emissions. 

Under the Government's Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), organisations can receive grants towards the upfront cost of the purchase and installation of charge points. The contribution is limited to 75% - or £350 per socket - of these costs, up to a maximum of 40 sockets per company. These can be on different sites.

You can find further details at Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.


The government offers grants to support the wider use of electric and hybrid vehicles through the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). You can find further details at Grant schemes for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Plug-in Grant 

The grant is deducted from the price of the vehicle at the point of sale by the dealership and no paperwork is required from the customer. 

The maximum grant available for cars is £3,000.

Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme

If you own or anticipate buying an electric vehicle and have access to off-street parking you can receive up to 75% (capped at £350, inc VAT) off the total capital costs of a charging point and associated installation costs.

Residents wanting to charge their car from home must do so within the boundary of their own property. Any cables or wires being used to charge a vehicle across the pavement are contrary to the Highways Act (1980).

Workplace Charging Scheme

This scheme is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging points, for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations. The funding is capped at £350 per socket and maximum of 40 sockets per site.

For any other enquiries, please email evchargingpoints@cumbria.gov.uk