Electrifying moves

A five-year action plan has been launched to support the transition of Buckinghamshire to electric vehicles.

It covers a range of measures, including doubling the number of EV charging parking spaces across the county by 2023/4 and a targeted 1,000 publicly-available charging spaces across Bucks by 2027.

This links in with the government’s electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, which aims to have 300,000 publicly-available charge points across the UK by 2030.

The aim of the plan is to help to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, as set out in Buckinghamshire Council’s Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy.

The plan will also support the council’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Transportation currently contributes 51 per cent of carbon emissions in Bucks, with 65 per cent of these generated by cars.

The plan will ensure there is a spread of EV charge points of different types and will also focus on increasing coverage in areas currently without access to a charge point.

To achieve this, the council will work with EV charge point operators, parish and town councils, and local businesses to encourage their installation. They will also seek additional funding for new charge points from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.

The plan also includes installation of charging points at council offices and depots to support staff to take up EVs and to help transition the council’s fleet to EVs. This has already begun, with the council’s Family Support Service installing EV charge points for its vehicles in High Wycombe and Aylesbury.

Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: ‘Our brand new EV action plan aligns with national scale-up plans to reflect predicted increases in EV ownership. This gives us a target for EV infrastructure that is clear, realistic and achievable.

‘To keep up with the rapid pace of technology development, the action plan includes proposals for trialling innovative charge point technologies (including the potential for induction charging and solar canopies) and on-street charging solutions (such as cable channels in pavements) through a comprehensive bid to the government’s Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme.

“We’re also working with England’s Economic Heartland, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and EV charge point suppliers to investigate the feasibility of installing rapid and ultra-rapid charge point hubs on strategic road links in the county.

‘The Action Plan has been developed with advice from the Energy Saving Trust and following feedback from EV users and infrastructure providers.”

Clean Air Day is on 16 June, when the council will be co-hosting a free networking event with Buckinghamshire Business First to give businesses a brief update on the support available for adopting EVs and creating low carbon workspaces.

Businesses can discover the EV options available, book a test drive, and have the chance to win an EV Track Day experience at Silverstone Circuit.

Info:
More information on this free networking event can be found on the Buckinghamshire Business First website.

Pictured:
EV charging points being installed in Aylesbury.

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