Global Climate action and sustainable development, Technology, Transport and infrastructure

Five examples of local government driving the EV transition forward


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Every week, we highlight inspiration and innovation from local government worldwide as part of our Global Local newsletter. In this article, we’re focusing on those in the sector who are leading the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). You’ll find best practice examples from Germany, Belgium, Iceland, the USA and the UK, along with plenty of practical policy and resources to help point you in the right direction.

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EV innovation and inspiration examples from the local government sector

GERMANY: Frankfurt’s electric waste fleet powered by incinerated waste

Last year, the City of Frankfurt introduced a new range of electric heavy-duty waste trucks to its vehicle fleet. These carbon-free trucks are powered by a circular charging mechanism, using energy generated from the incineration of waste that cannot be recycled. The combination of the circular charging system and the carbon emission reduction from the new electric vehicles is expected to cut around 460 tons of CO2 from the city annually. Source: The Mayor

BELGIUM: Brussels places EV charger within 150 metres of all residents

The Brussels Regional Government, as part of its efforts to ban all combustion-engine vehicles by 2035, has been developing an extensive network of electric vehicle charging stations across the Belgian capital. Under the Electrify.Brussels plan, some 1,200 EV points have been installed over the past three months, ensuring every Brussels resident is now within 150 metres of an EV charger. The government is planning to install an additional 1,200 EV charging stations this year, with 60 new charging points dedicated exclusively to car sharing. Brussels has set itself the target of installing 22,000 public charging stations by 2035. Source: The Mayor

ICELAND: Reykjavík provides grants to install charging facilities at apartment buildings

In 2022, the City of Reykjavík, in partnership with Reykjavík Energy, devised a fund to support greater electric vehicle charging infrastructure installation outside multi-owner apartment buildings. The partnership sees some 40 million Króna ($292,000) set aside annually over the next three years, distributed to residential homeowners’ associations tasked with installing the EV charging equipment. In 2022, the partnership backed 44 homeowners’ associations in multi-owner buildings, with 3,250 dwellings receiving new charging stations on their plots since the scheme began. Source: City of Reykjavík

USA: 30 years of electric vehicle initiatives in Sacramento

For close to 30 years, the City of Sacramento has been a leading municipality in the transition to electric vehicles. The city adopted its first EV parking program in 1994, providing discounted parking to EV drivers across City-owned parking garages. Now, the city has a wide range of EV incentives and initiatives, from solar-powered charging stations to financial programs to help lower-income residents buy a zero-emissions vehicle. The City has set a goal of 75,000 zero-emission vehicles on Sacramento’s roads by 2025, driven by residents, businesses, fleet operators and community organisations. Source: City of Sacramento

UK: Norfolk first service in the country to move to electric cars

Norfolk County Council last month announced that forty-five hybrid electric vehicles will be leased to the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, with the service now the first in the UK to move to a fleet of electric emergency response vehicles. As part of the council’s new fleet transformation programme, incident commanders will take charge of the new vehicles, designed to respond to emergencies in all weathers and locations. Cllr Margret Dwesbury said “I’m delighted that the service has identified these vehicles as being able to do both, with no loss of capability while also working towards our commitment to net zero”. Source: LAPV

EV policy and resources to help you drive forward

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Report: Next stop: zero emissions buses by 2030

This Australia Institute report urges local governments to pledge to only buy electric buses from 2025 as part of a wider transition to zero-emissions buses by 2030. The report argues that a reported three in four Australians support the electrification of bus fleets by the end of the decade. It calls on councils to introduce low emissions zones to incentivise their adoption alongside the purchase pledge, alongside recommended actions from federal and state governments.

Roadmap: Western Sydney Electric Vehicle Roadmap 2022-2030

The role councils can play in the transition to electric vehicles, alongside the barriers to wider EV uptake, are explored in the Western Sydney Electric Vehicle Roadmap 2022. Developed by eight local governments under the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, the report explores the significant increase in capital costs for more expensive vehicles and the installation of charging infrastructure. It argues however that electric vehicle investment is likely to bring about a positive return on investment within the next decade. It suggests councils could invest in joint purchasing, financing, and grant applications. This regional collaboration could also act as a possible solution to a lack of skills surrounding the procurement and use of charging infrastructure.

Resource: How to build an electric vehicle city: deploying charging infrastructure

This implementation guide published by the C40 Knowledge Hub explores the process of building an electric vehicle city by deploying new charging infrastructure. It goes into detail on charge point types and required numbers, based on benchmarks by comparable cities, government and local private funding options, incentives and mandates, and collaboration approaches. The resource also features several international case studies.

Report: Charging our future: national electric vehicle charging strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand 2023-2035

New Zealand’s first ever national EV charging strategy outlines plans to provide EV charging stations across almost every town in the country. Policies include journey charging hubs to be installed every 150-200 kilometres on main highways, a public charger for every 20 to 40 EVs in urban areas, and public charging at community facilities for every settlement with more than 2,000 people. The strategy will be delivered alongside local government and industry.

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