City Science was commissioned to conduct an Electric Vehicle (EV) Insight Study for Transport East and England’s Economic Heartland, two of the UK’s Sub-national Transport Bodies (STBs). This represents a key step towards understanding the challenges and opportunities for rolling out EV charging infrastructure, alongside determining the role of key players, including the Local Transport Authorities in supporting the transition to zero emission vehicles.
The aim of this Study was to develop a comprehensive understanding of private sector EV charge point deployment models to identify desirable locations for infrastructure investment. This study also sought to understand the approach taken to charge point provision within the public sector, assessing progress to date amongst the local authorities across the region and providing recommendations for a cohesive approach.
City Science Response
We conducted an extensive stakeholder engagement exercise across these region’s private and public sectors, to gain an insight into current and future plans. This included:
10x meetings with Charge Point Operators (CPOs) to understand their current infrastructure deployment models, the range of charging speeds they extend to their clients, desirable and undesirable characteristics for potential sites, key barriers to working with the public sector and how these could be mitigated and their future ambitions and targets for EV charge points for 2025 and 2030
2x meetings with District Network Operators to gain insights into the grid connection process and current grid capacity across the region
3x meetings with Broader Partners (e.g. NHS Trust, tourism bodies) to identify opportunities for collaboration and to ensure the needs of visitors are considered
X4 virtual Workshops held with Local Authorities using innovative online collaboration tools to identify current opportunities and barriers to EV charge point delivery and to gather baseline data on current EV infrastructure provision
Our final report consolidated the results from the extensive engagement process and data analysis.
We also produced a short, highly-visual Insights Report that will be used as a tool to for the STBs to clearly outline the results of the Study and their key asks to government.
Local Authority EV Maturity Model
We developed an EV Maturity Model tool that we applied to the 17 local authorities across the region, to benchmark their progress against EV charge point deployment and ambitions. The developmental process involved:
An initial desk-based review of EV strategies in the region
A best practice review taking account of the best examples of EV strategies and operational delivery outside the two STB regions
Classification of common elements within these strategies
Prioritisation of key elements into a hierarchy based on scale, impact and complexity
A trial with selected stakeholders to refine the process post-analysis
This resulted in a quantitative analysis of the maturity level of the response of each of the Local Transport Authorities within each STB region, and a clear method of identifying areas which needed further support, either from their STB or from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OZEV), in order to improve the consistence of the delivery of EV infrastructure across each region.
An example output, showing the average level of maturity across each of the seven categories, is shown below.
Review of Commercial Models
A key aspect of the Study was the review of commercial models within the EV infrastructure market through desktop research, engagement with private sector partners and 1:1 discussions with CPOs. This proved an invaluable exercise, providing an understanding of CPOs investment and delivery plans, alongside identifying key challenges, that include access to land.
to EVs, both as highway authorities and as holders of land which can be made available for charge point delivery. CPOs are keen to work with local authorities to help them deliver their charge point ambitions, but more support is needed within local authority organisations regarding procurement and EV expertise to ensure they are able to capitalise on these opportunities.
ELVIS has been well-received by both STBs, OZEV and the local authorities within their regions.
"We were very pleased to work with City Science on this project. They were incredibly responsive throughout, focusing on client needs and gave us the advice we needed to optimise project outcomes, ensuring expectations were met, and more often exceeded, balancing the iron triangle of cost, quality and time and achieving a 'right first-time' delivery. The end result is a report we are all very proud of. We wouldn't hesitate to commission City Science again, and look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with them"
Dan Johnson, Senior Transport Planner, Transport East.