Sam Illsley, Head of Customer Project Management at Mer UK – Public Charging, discusses the social and environmental value of installing EV charge points for local authorities.
The role of the public sector in advancing the UK’s journey towards building a more environmentally friendly transport system cannot be understated. When it comes to electric mobility, the transition will only be realised through creating and sustaining a comprehensive EV charging network that is reliable and inclusive.
Local authorities are well positioned to support the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure, and the subsequent effects of doing so are invaluable.
Incentivise the EV transition
Whilst EV sales figures from 2022 are encouraging, the current state of the UK’s charging infrastructure is challenging EV uptake. The number of public charge points, the rate at which they are being installed, and the concentration across the UK are three of the issues. Whilst urban locations are often abundant with charge points, rural areas tend to be lacking, meaning drivers must travel into cities and town centres to charge their EV. For homeowners without off-street parking, their preference of an EV over an ICE vehicle is likely to be determined by their confidence in the public charging network in their local area.
If local authorities increase public charge point coverage so their local network is able to serve as many residents and visitors as possible, EV driving will become a more achievable reality for more people, and public demand for electric mobility will remain high.
Minimise the environmental impact of transportation
Transportation is one of the UK’s most polluting sectors. The greenhouse gas contributions of an ICE vehicle are significantly detrimental to both our health and environment.
As the increase in the number of EV charge points positively influences the uptake of EVs and the number of ICE vehicles on UK roads depletes, local authority investment in charging infrastructure and greening their own fleet of vehicles will set off a chain reaction effect: a reduction in pollution levels, meaning cleaner air, improved public health, and greater public confidence in a low carbon transportation system that is reducing its impact on our planet. Simultaneously, this supports councils’ strategies for achieving their net zero goals.
Making The Change Happen
Local authorities are not alone in realising the EV transition. The grants and frameworks available for the public sector to procure, finance and install EV charging infrastructure mean the journey to increasing the number of charge points in their local areas is simple, hassle-free and, in some cases, requires little to no financial investment from the authority. Schemes include the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund – which also features a ‘capability fund’, to assist local authorities financially by funding staff resource to manage their projects – Workplace Charging Scheme and the Rapid Charging Fund.
Supporting Local Authorities
With our fully funded solutions, passion for customer-centricity, and backing from Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, Mer works with over 50 public sector bodies to bring scalable EV charging to hospitals, towns, cities, county councils and boroughs across the UK. Mer offer financed packages and fleet services via the KCS Procurement Services National Framework, Oxfordshire DPS, ESPO and Crown Commercial Service’s Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Solutions Framework, which helps authorities save time and costs.
Read more about our work with local authorities and how we can support public sector bodies with their EV charging plans in our Best Practice Guide.
- Guide for the Public Sector: www.info.uk.mer.eco/public-ev-charging-infrastructure