Taking Charge: How Local Authorities can Champion Electric Vehicles 

23rd July 2018

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EV Chargepoint Deployment

Last month, the REA, Renewable Energy Association launched their new guide: “Taking Charge: how local authorities can champion electric vehicles.” The guide is specifically for Local Authority (LA) officers, councillors, developers, and individuals, and is designed to educate them about the taxes and grants available to Local Authorities, and highlight ‘best practice’ in the sector.

Throughout the guide, the REA detail a number of pragmatic actions local authorities can take to support EV deployment. They call on them to establish ‘Energy Boards’ and appoint one councillor as an ‘EV champion,’ as well as stating that viable EV charging network is crucial to the development of a mass-market.

Taking Charge

Our Contribution to Taking Charge

As a REA member, we were thrilled to have been asked to contribute to the guide and we were actively involved in a number of discussions and interviews which went towards compiling the analysis for the report.

As a company, Solisco has been engaging with local authorities from the beginning, as we see a huge need for thought leadership and consultancy on E-Mobility and Sustainable Infrastructure.  West Midlands Combined Authority are a great example of proactive engagement and forward thinking attitude. We have been working with Cllr. Allan Andrews – Senior advisor to the Mayor of the West Midlands, Anne Shaw – Director Network Resilience at WMCA and Adam Lawrence – Sustainability and Programmes Officer at WMCA to discuss opportunities and shape ideas.

As a first step, Solisco advised WMCA on the benefits of a pure electric car vs. a hybrid and recommended DriveElectric. We were pleased to hear about the acquisition of the Electric Nissan Leaf for their fleet! Next steps – we are working close together to create ideas for an entire ecosystem, whereby we can promote clean air in urban centres.

Taking Charge

Dr Nina Skorupska, CBE, Chief Executive at the Renewable Energy Association said:

“It is clear that as costs fall and battery ranges improve, the choice to buy an electric car or van will become more commonplace. While the drivers of this historic shift may be global, the impacts will be local and Local Authorities will be on the front lines. The expectation that a reliable, accessible, and affordable charging infrastructure will be in place is, in the eyes of much of the public, the responsibility of local government.”

Time To Champion Electric Vehicles

Writing for GreenFleet, Daniel Brown, from the REA, believes that local authorities can champion electric vehicles. He acknowledges that change is coming fast:

“The Committee on Climate Change’s analysis that 60 per cent of car sales need to be electric by 2030 to meet our carbon targets could well be achieved earlier as the manufacturing hubs that are home to Tesla, Geely, and Nissan alike continue to champion battery powered transport.

But while this great electric vehicle evolution may be global, the impacts will be local, and local authorities will be expected to play their part in delivering the affordable, reliable, and accessible EV infrastructure that will allow us to reduce emissions and cut costs for consumers.”

He concludes his piece by saying that the development of major EV infrastructure should be seen as in the strategic national interest and charging hubs should be given the ability to deploy quickly – and be extended rights similar to those in the telecoms industry.

Read the full guide here!








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