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An Electric Future: Which UK Cities Lead the Way?

Many of our blog posts have discussed aspects of owning an electric vehicle which are geographically dependent. We thought it may be useful to shine a light on 5 UK cities that are making waves in the quest for a greener future. With a particular focus on green travel and electric vehicle charging, here are the cities we believe deserve a mention:

Southampton

This city in South-West England is widely considered to be the best prepared for an electric future. With a population of around 250,000 people and 77 public charge sites, it has the highest ratio of chargers to people. Moreover, the city has announced a new Green Charter which sets the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. This will be achieved through the introduction of 100% green energy for corporate premises, wide-spread public chargepoint installations, a new ‘green’ port and many schemes aimed at increasing public acceptance of electric travel.

Bristol

Bristol was named the European Green Capital for 2015 by the European Commission and has spent ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ on tackling the issue of climate change. Like their Southern neighbours, the city also aims to be net-zero, albeit by 2050 rather than 2030. In most recent indices, the city is ranked first for air quality in the UK and this is partly down to the lack of traffic emissions. The city was an early adopter of clean energy targets, reaching its 60% reduction in emissions 3 years early, and had over 700 electric car drivers in 2017. This number fell until recently but Bristol council have injected over £2million into chargepoint installation to make electric vehicles a common site in the city. At time of writing, the city is close to completing the installation of over 120 new EV chargepoints and the process of changing the council’s vehicle fleet to electric is well underway.

Birmingham

Given its size, it may be surprising that Birmingham still has less than 100 EV chargepoints. However, this is set to change dramatically over the coming years. Councils in the West Midlands have pledged up to £200m towards chargepoint installation and have set a target of 1,100 rapid chargepoints and 17,000 top-up chargepoints by 2030. Moreover, the airport bus fleet has already been made fully electric and the city was one of the first to introduce fully electric trains on the route between the city centre and Bromsgrove.

Edinburgh

Slightly closer to home for us, Scotland’s central belt cities have also pledged to be net-zero by 2030. Edinburgh currently has around 50 EV chargepoints in the city centre and has had over 700 electric vehicles on its roads since 2017. Having already won ‘Britain’s Greenest City’ last year, the local council has pressed on with plans to install over 200 chargepoints by 2023 and will ban ‘older’ cars which do not meet given emissions levels from the city centre. Moreover, the city has started plans to radically overhaul public transport with a change to bus routes to reduce the number on the roads and major investment in new electric trams.

London

No list would be complete without the nation’s capital but it may surprise you that it does not lie higher on this list. We have, of course, taken size into account and with only 10% of the UK’s charge points, London is lagging behind given the size of its population. However, the city has started to face up to its shortcomings and massive investment is taking place to make the city greener. Around 1500 regular and 150 rapid EV chargepoints are set to be installed by the end of 2020. Moreover, the city centre also has a congestion charge which does not apply to ultra-low or zero emission vehicles. The city also aims to be net-zero by 2030, a massive statement of intent given its size. When one considers travel in London, the obvious thought is the underground. That said, TFL has pledged to make the tube circuit carbon neutral by 2050 by using thermal energy which is currently wasted within the tunnels and installing a wind farm on the city’s outskirts to power the grid.

While these 5 cities are standouts given the amount of investment in a greener future, they are obviously not alone. Most major UK cities have increased investment in electric travel and reducing emissions across the board. In fact, the UK is currently ranked the sixth greenest developed nation in the world for air quality and emissions. We believe that the progress made already and the intent shown by both local and national government mean that we have a bright, greener future ahead.

If you are thinking of switching to electric and would like to discuss your options, please get in touch. A member of our team would be happy to discuss this in more detail and answer any questions that you have. Call us on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at info@britetechnicalservices.co.uk.

We also have a variety of platforms available with extensive information about electric vehicles (brite-ev.com), EV chargepoints (evchargepoints.com) and EE accessories (briteaccessories.com).

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Author – Iain McComish of evchargepoints.com

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