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LEVI Fund Masterclass: How to maximise the impact of your application

Decarbonisation efforts are well underway around the country, and one way that the nation’s carbon emissions are being lowered is through the increased adoption of electric vehicles.

Road travel accounts for 91% of the domestic transport emissions that are produced in the UK each year, so getting people to embrace the EV revolution and abandon petrol and diesel vehicles is going to be essential to achieving net zero. There is, however, a challenge in that there often isn’t the right infrastructure in place to ensure that people can travel regularly and freely without their car’s battery running out.

Local authorities have a huge part to play in ensuring that electric vehicle infrastructure is available to the masses, and they are being supported to develop these measures with the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund. The first tranche of the LEVI Fund ran over the 2023-24 financial year; however a second tranche is to be allocated for the 2024-25 year. After opening on the 2nd April, the application period for the second tranche will close on the 19th July this year, with £185 million being made available to local authorities.

To discuss the LEVI Fund, and how authorities can ensure that their application is as good as possible, Public Sector Executive – in association with EV charge point operator (CPO) Believ – hosted the LEVI Fund Masterclass webinar.

Chair for the Webinar was Charlie Allen, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at Believ, and Charlie was joined by Matt Croucher (EV Services Director at Believ), Keisha Moore (Transport Planning Officer at North Yorkshire Council), and Anna Cuckow (Principle Consultant for Future Mobility at WSP).

Charlie opened the conversation by asking Keisha how local authorities can get the most LEVI funding possible, and how they can make the most out of the allocation they get. Keisha responded by saying: “We would recommend finding a way to make it more attractive for the private sector to do that delivery in areas where they normally wouldn’t. That is the key challenge we’ve got here, and seeking to maximise the return for your investment as well through the procurement process, I think is really important whilst balancing the level of risk for both the CPO and the local authority…

“The other thing that it’s forced us to do, and will enable all of those things, is build our relationship with the charge point operators, both existing and potential new charge point operators.”

The discussion also moved onto the kind of work that local authorities can do before they make an agreement with a CPO, by undergoing pre-market engagement. Matt commented on this: “I can’t recommend it highly enough. I think it’s really, really important to sanity check your thinking and just test the water with the industry.

“We respond to a lot of requests for information or soft market testing documents every week, and you can see its somebody wanting to test the water with what they’re looking to firm up.”

As net zero plans continue to develop and electric vehicle infrastructure becomes increasingly important, engaging with the industry and making sure that the organisation is getting the best value out of the procurement process is vital. If you want to learn more about how to extract the most value out of LEVI funding, watch the full webinar on demand here.

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