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How Can Local Authorities Encourage EV Adoption In 2023?

Local authorities are well placed to spark the electric mobility transition among UK drivers and encourage drivers to choose electric driving.

ev charging strategy

The transition to electric mobility is continuing across the UK. The Government expects the country to have at least 300,000 public charge points by 2023. This infrastructure will support the needs of the growing number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers, especially following the termination of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2023.

However, many UK drivers are still refraining from switching to an EV, for reasons including range anxiety and concerns over the lack of availability of public charge points in their area.

Local authorities are in a prime position to incentivise and enable the shift to electric mobility in their council areas. As we enter 2023 and reflect on how the EV industry might evolve this year, this blog covers some of the ways in which local authorities and public sector bodies can mobilise the movement towards electric transport and encourage EV adoption.


Tip 1: Install Reliable EV Charge Points In The Right Areas

For the EV market to continue to expand, access to charge points is becoming more important than ever. A lack of charge points in local council areas across the UK will act as a disincentive for the interest in electric transport amongst residents. This is especially the case for drivers who cannot charge at home due to a lack of off-street parking, as well as for those who live in remote areas, where charging infrastructure is currently scarcer in comparison to urban areas.

Local authorities can raise the profile of driving an EV and make the transition to driving an EV appear less daunting by increasing the public charging offering in their area. In our Public EV Best Practice Charging Infrastructure Guide, we cover how council areas across the UK are working with Mer to install EV charge points.


Location is key

Encouraging EV adoption is, however, not only about the availability of chargers, but where the chargers are placed. If drivers are to see the EV world as one which they can be a part of, they need access to charge points at convenient locations. Concentrating charge points in select locations whilst leaving the wider council area vacant of charge points may mean some drivers will have to travel further to charge their vehicle. Rather than highlighting EV driving as an exciting opportunity, this could result in drivers perceiving it as an inconvenience.

Local authorities should analyse the demand for EV charge points in their local area and identify where they are needed the most. By strategizing over where the charge points should be located, authorities will spark increased confidence in driving an EV, both amongst current and prospective EV drivers and, as a result, further their goal of increasing electric transport in their council area. Insights into charge point demand might be obtained via surveys or polls, through which residents can share their opinions and suggestions.

As well as creating EV charging hubs, authorities should provide a balance of charging infrastructure and offer ad hoc chargers in convenient locations.


Tip 2: Set an example

The UK Government has recognised the importance of shared accountability when it comes to electric transportation, as is demonstrated through their target of ensuring 100% of central government cars and vans are to be fully zero emission by 2027.


Join the transition

Local authorities can follow suit by joining the EV transition themselves. This might include electrifying their council fleet, or incentivising the EV shift amongst staff members by installing workplace charging. This would provide evidence for council support of electric mobility, and thus showcase to drivers that driving an EV is worth their consideration too.

local ev charging

When communicating with the public, authorities would also be able to provide advice and recommendations based on their own experiences and expertise of operating an electric fleet, so to authenticate their advocacy in favour of EV driving.

What is more, choosing to turn their fleet electric will also offer the chance for councils to see whether their EV strategy is working from a consumer perspective, and what things they can incorporate into their action plan for future developments to make driving an EV easier in their council area. Our Public EV Best Practice Charging Infrastructure Guide includes insights into how Mer can support the needs of UK council’s electric fleets.


Tip 3: Raise Awareness Of Why Driving An EV Is Beneficial

Councils can further EV adoption on their area by promoting the benefits electric transportation is bringing to the area, as well as to the country and the planet.

From lower carbon emissions to decreased air pollution, driving an EV has significant environmental benefits and can help mitigate the threat of the impending climate emergency. Increasing awareness of the benefits of driving an EV will frame electric transport in a wider context and promote the ways in which it is helping reduce the foreboding effects of climate change on our globe.


Promote The Ease Of Driving An EV

Beyond the environmental advantages, councils could share information about the easy experience of driving an EV. As electric driving is still an ‘unknown’ for many, misinformation and preconceptions can arise. This could subsequently deter people from considering driving an EV.

Local authorities can reduce the ‘taboo’ nature of EV driving by busting the myths and refocusing attention to the benefits of driving an EV, thus increasing the chances of higher EV adoption. Take inspiration from this blog, in which we challenged five EV myths.


Work With Mer To Boost EV Adoption In Your Council Area

Mer works with local authorities from across the UK to bring EV charging to more corners of the country and enhance the opportunity for making EV driving the dominant form of transportation.

Our Public EV Best Practice Charging Infrastructure Guide details how councils can make a start with EV charging, learnings from other local authority installation projects, and how the public sector can work with Mer to increase EV adoption across the UK.


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