Smart Transport

More than half of UK councils haven’t started EV strategy plans

Electric vehicle charging

More than half of all UK councils either have no electric vehicle (EV) charging transition strategy planned or have not started them yet, according to Smart Cities Connections.

Smart Cities Connections, which was established in March 2021 as a network to help connect the industry to transition to EVs and establish charging infrastructure, gained the data on the councils in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

FOI requests were to 383 local authorities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in November 2021.

Of the 295 who provided data, almost one-in-five (56 or 19%) said they have absolutely no strategy planned, with a further 104 councils (37%) having transition strategies planned but not started.

The total number of vehicles, of all types, owned by the councils who responded number 67,234, an average of 228 vehicles per local authority.

The number of vehicles of all types operated by the 56 councils who said they had no strategy in place numbers 8,231, an average of 147 vehicles per authority.

Andrew Merritt-Morling, chief executive of Smart Cities Connections, said: “It is very encouraging to see that so many councils have already either introduced fleet transition plans or are in the process of implementing them. 

“Understandably, local authorities are at the forefront of leading public awareness of the growing urgency of the climate emergency.

“But a significantly large proportion representing 160 councils (or more than 54% of respondents) either do not have any plans in place to transition their own fleets or who have rudimentary plans but no firm implementation timetable”.

Smart Cities Connections is urging local authorities to get in touch to explore switching to EV through its “…from ICE-age to EVlution” programme. 

The organisation has recently released a workplace charging guide setting out some important considerations organisations should bear in mind as councils and those from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors get ready to jump on the highway to net-zero.

Merritt-Morling said: “Now is the time for organisations to start thinking about their individual journeys.

"No one size fits all, but the earlier they – including councils – start the process, the better the benefits to the council, the local taxpayer … and the environment."

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