Sub-national transport body Midlands Connect has announced plans for a network of electric chargepoints along canals in the region within the next 20 years.
The organisation is researching the sustainable future of narrowboats, which often use the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Droitwich Canals and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.
Electric narrowboating is currently a niche proposition on the network with only a few pilot trials, but Midlands Connect Engine believes electric-powered boats are expected to become the norm in the decades ahead.
Mains chargers are currently limited to marinas and some permanent moorings but by 2040 an effective network of charging points will be required to keep electric narrowboats moving
Midlands Connect’s head of new technologies, Bharat Pathania, said: “All forms of transport are evolving to become more sustainable, and this will include our canals.
“Our aim is to identify the building blocks that need to be in place to affect positive influence on the decarbonisation of our canals.
“Securing a future where diesel or solid fuel sources are no longer the norm will boost the air quality for boaters and everyone using these important waterways.”
Midlands Connect plans to work with partners to determine and map the locations of existing chargers on the canal network across the region and do a study of the requirements for a comprehensive narrowboat charging infrastructure in future.
The work will also identify mechanisms through which the infrastructure could be funded.
Achievements and innovations in EV charging will be celebrated at the third annual CiTTi Awards, which will be held on 26 November 2024 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Nominations officially open in March 2024. Please visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector.