Why we created the EV Maturity Model

23 February 2023

Why we created the EV Maturity Model

Previously, we detailed the City Science Carbon Maturity Model, which is a tool for local authorities that helps them classify where they sit on a spectrum of preparedness for the climate emergency.

This Carbon Maturity Model has proven to be an invaluable way for local authorities to measure their response to the climate crisis and to work out what activities need to be prioritized in order for them to continue making progress. When England’s Economic Heartland and Transport East (two of England’s Sub-national Transport Bodies (STBs)) commissioned us to develop an Electric Vehicle Insight Study for their region, we wondered how we could use a similar framework to quantify the readiness of each of their local transport authorities for the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

Why is the EV Maturity Model needed?

The national net zero and transport decarbonisation agenda is driving forward the transition to zero-emission vehicles. This includes the announcement that new petrol and diesel vehicle sales will be phased out beginning in 2030, as well as the publication of the government's EV Infrastructure Strategy (DfT, 2022), which committed £500 million in funding to assist local governments in planning and delivering local public charging infrastructure. EVs will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the pathway to net zero and there are opportunities arising at all levels, from municipal fleet decarbonisation and personal vehicle electrification to freight decarbonisation. 327,000 plug-in EVs were registered in 2021, an increase of 77% on 2020 (DfT & OZEV, 2022), which shows the importance of being ready for this transition at a local authority level. Our EV Maturity Model provides a simple-to-understand yet meaningful framework for them to measure where they stand and how they can improve their readiness.

What is the EV Maturity Model?

The City Science EV Maturity Model breaks overall EV-readiness down into five core levels.

  • Level 1: EV Aware - Organisations that are EV Aware have acknowledged the role of EVs in the decarbonisation of the transport system but do not yet have an EV Strategy and have limited experience in areas such as procurement, funding, and forecasting future demand.

  • Level 2: EV Conscious - Organisations that are EV Conscious have begun their transition to electric vehicles by publishing an EV strategy and embedding it within local policy. They are developing relationships with Charge Point Operators and Distribution Network Operators and have identified indicators for likely hotspots of early EV adoption.

  • Level 3: EV Active - Organisations that are EV Active have a clear strategy with charge point installation targets. They have emerging expertise in procurement and are actively working with Charge Point Operators (CPOs) and District Network operators (DNOs) to deliver a broader rollout of charge points, including residential on-street charging.

  • Level 4: EV Leader - Organisations that are EV Leaders have developed a range of processes to support the rollout of EV charge points and the uptake of EVs. They have identified long-term, multi-year actions as part of their strategy and quantified the total cost of delivery. They are engaging with a wide range of community groups, including disability organisations, and working across local authority boundaries to ensure coherent delivery of charge points.

  • Level 5: EV Innovator - Organisations that are EV Innovators are paving the way for other local authorities, looking for new ways to make electric vehicle charging accessible to all. They have a fully quantified EV Strategy that is embedded within relevant local policy, contains ambitious targets, and a formal monitoring and evaluation process. They are actively sharing resources on procurement and best practice, and they are engaging with both public and private sector partners.

How does the EV Maturity Model work?

When available, the inputs for the EV model are drawn from both draft and completed EV Strategies. They are also combined with information from local authority websites, local media, and any survey or interview findings that are available to the local authorities being evaluated. Then, their activities are scored based on their level in a number of categories that are meant to cover the most important aspects of EV infrastructure rollout from both a practical and a strategic point of view. The categories are as follows:

Some example outputs from the EV Maturity Model are shown below, breaking down activity into five levels and examining readiness by the categories described above.

The results can be used to highlight areas in which some authorities have more experience and, therefore, the potential to share this with others. It can also be used on a regional level to identify aspects of the transition to EVs that require more external support and guidance from either a county council or unitary authority, an STB, or the government. It can guide a strategic approach that prioritises collaboration between national and regional transport bodies, local authorities, and the private sector to deliver an effective and accessible EV charge point network. Most importantly, it is a tool that can provide local authorities with an assessment of their current position and a clear path to getting their EV strategy and activities to a "best in class" level.

Want to learn more about the EV Maturity Model?

We will be running a webinar and offering demos to explain the tool in more detail. If you would like to be notified about this or have any questions on how the EV Maturity Model might work for your organisation, get in touch at info@cityscience.com.