PATROL ‘Leading the Charge’ Electric Vehicles Workshop 2021
PATROL held its second Electric Vehicles (EV) ‘Leading the Charge’ Workshop on Tuesday 2 November.
With the Government moving forward its ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2030, the arrival of green number plates and recent headlines that sales of Tesla cars have hit £1 billion in Britain, the charge towards EVs has moved apace over the last year. In February, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced additional funding for local authorities to increase the number of on-street EV charge points in their communities. The PATROL workshop therefore focused on the central role local authorities need to play in establishing the critical charging infrastructure that will ultimately help drive the mass adoption of EVs.
Key discussions / outputs of the meeting included:
- Edward Nelson, Head of Local Delivery at the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), highlighted the ‘on-street challenge’ as a current barrier to mass adoption of EVs, with 30-40% of UK residents being without a driveway to charge their vehicle overnight and needing to rely on infrastructure on the pavement. Local authorities, Nelson said, are key in providing the infrastructure required to bridge the gap and said that detailed guidance on the installation of charge points in communities would be released by OZEV in 2022. Nelson also stressed the importance of ensuring joined-up, holistic strategies are in place, with the inclusion of all local stakeholders, to ensure an effective localised solution to EV charging provision.
- Richard Drew, Regional Account Manager at the Energy Saving Trust (EST), which provides free, impartial advice and information to English local authorities to help deliver their decarbonising transport and clean air projects, touched on the crucial behaviour change that needs to underpin the uptake of EVs. The thinking, said Drew, should not be around just replacing diesel and petrol cars like for like with EVs, but rather to encourage the use of zero emission vehicles as part of a wider ecosystem of cleaner, less congested travel. Local authorities can apply for funding to cover up to 75% of the costs of installing EV charging points in their community through the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), managed by the EST on behalf of OZEV.
Two local authorities in attendance at the workshop shared their experiences of building an EV charging infrastructure to date.
- Brighton & Hove City Council has a large stock of terraced housing in its authority area with 54% of households without access to
off-street parking. Paul Nicholls, Parking Strategy and Contracts Manager, discussed the extensive planning the council has carried out so far. This has included ensuring a broad range of resource and skills are in place to deliver, robust modelling on the current and future unmet need for charging is in place and the complexities in tendering for a charge point provider are well understood before proceeding. Nicholls also highlighted the council’s work with the Behavioural Insights Team to utilise ‘nudge’ techniques in communications to the public to help increase uptake of EVs.
- Fraser Crichton of Dundee City Council’s Corporate Fleet Department stressed the importance of local leadership in encouraging EV adoption, which has included converting 25% of the council’s corporate fleet to zero emission vehicles to date and a commitment to use only renewable sources of energy to power the charging infrastructure rolled-out so far. This infrastructure includes 4 x EV ‘Hubs’ coupled with car parks across the city, all fitted with solar panels and, where possible, linked in to alternative onward travel options, such as rail or cycling, reducing reliance on cars and encouraging active travel.Dundee has been branded ‘Europe’s Most Visionary EV City’ by the World Electric Vehicle Association, with its ‘pop-up’ EV chargers (installed below street level) receiving high-profile press coverage in recent months. The council is currently planning for an ‘integrated mobility’ strategy for the landmark 150th anniversary Open Golf Championship in St Andrews taking place in June 2022, where attendees will be encouraged to choose from a range of zero emission options to travel to the event.
Finally, Stephen Knapp, Deputy Chief Adjudicator of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, presented a number of potential scenarios relating to the enforcement of EV parking / charging bays and highlighted the importance of ensuring effective signage and appropriate Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) were in place.