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EV charging for your local authority: The start of your EV journey

Electric vehicles are the future. Despite the government making the decision to push back the deadline for the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles, introducing further electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a key part of ensuring that local authorities are ready for achieving net zero.

Public Sector Executive held the EV Charging for your Local Authority: The start of your EV journey webinar – sponsored by Believ – to get expert insight into how local authorities can introduce charging infrastructure that leaves nobody behind.

The panel of speakers was led by Believ’s EV Services Director, Matt Croucher, who was joined by Mark Fletcher (Commercial Officer at London Councils), Ian Stotesbury (Watford Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability), and David Bagwell (Senior Public Partnerships Manager at Believ).

Proceedings began with Matt Croucher asking Ian what he would ask of his team and what achievements look like from a council perspective. Ian responded, saying that “the strategy in Watford Borough Council has been there for a while, but now formally adopted as part of our wider transport strategy document.”

Ian continued: “I think that was quite an important part for us because, inevitably, if you put on street charging across the town, you are introducing new infrastructure and you want to know that, as it isn’t the cheapest infrastructure in the world, it’s going to have longevity.” This topic was developed on further by Mark, who brought in the perspective that London is home to many different local contexts that would influence EV strategies. Mark said: “Part of the issue that I’ve seen in some local authorities is actually having that synergy internally – so, how your own authority’s strategies fit together and actually having that communication between departments which can be challenging…

“… I think there are real challenges around local authorities seeing, identifying what their own needs are and what their residents’ needs are.”

Considering the role that Believ plays as a charge point operator, it was also important to get David’s input on the important things that should be considered when rolling out EV infrastructure across a local authority. He said: “The important part is understanding the user journeys. Different users will have different criteria, which then has a different dwell time. So, based on the user requirements, you have to find the right charger to go in the right place at the right time…

“… You have to work with the local authority, but also understand the resident engagement to find out what the dwell times are.”

As local authorities head further into the planning, or rollout, of their electric vehicle infrastructure, it is imperative that they are able to access the knowledge of other leaders who have been there and done it. In order to gain this insight from leaders across the local government sector, as well as those with expertise in areas such as net zero, watch the full webinar on demand here – and keep up with all of Public Sector Executive’s content here.


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