The UK Government recently announced that the sale of new cars that run solely on petrol or diesel will be banned in 2030 – although new hybrids will be legal until 2035. The Government is also committed to a challenging target in reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Given that a significant proportion of existing emissions are a result of transport, then a move away from vehicles propelled by fossil fuels is critical and becoming increasingly urgent.
Tees Valley is one of the most carbon-intense regions in the UK, with emissions per capita over twice the national average. A large part of this is down to the level of heavy industry in the area, but transport still contributed 17.3% of CO2 emissions in Tees Valley in 2017. This is mainly from private car usage, although road freight continues to make a significant contribution to emissions in the region. Subsequently there needs to be a focus on accelerating the reduction in carbon emissions from road transport. Key to this will be increasing the uptake and usage of electric vehicles (EVs).
Choosing an EV can have financial benefits alongside those for our environment. EV’s often have lower servicing and maintenance costs and they are cheaper to refuel than their petrol and diesel counterparts. The Energy Saving Trust provides further detail around the benefits of EV ownership and also support for individuals who are interested in switching to an EV on their website. Grants are available to reduce the initial purchase cost of eligible plug-in vehicles and the cost and installation of charging points. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) operate the grant schemes and further information is available on their website.
There is already electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Tees Valley that has evolved over time. The infrastructure is located on a variety of sites, including local authority car parks, businesses, petrol stations, supermarkets, hotels, educational establishments and health care facilities. However, there are several issues with the current level of provision:
- The infrastructure has been implemented by lots of different providers and there is therefore no consistency in terms of type of provision or interoperability.
- Some of the infrastructure is now outdated, has been poorly maintained and may not even be functional.
- There are varying degrees of coverage across the local authority areas within Tees Valley.
- The focus has been on infrastructure provision rather than a holistic approach to increasing the uptake of electric vehicles.
This project will coordinate and improve Electric Vehicle Charging Point (EVCP) provision across Tees Valley.
Up to £2,000,000 has been allocated to this project to develop the EVCP infrastructure and encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles.
Click here to view the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Executive Summary