Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022  |  Reading time:  12 mins  | Read online

E-mobility

This week, we’re exploring how local policy can facilitate improved uptake and management of electric vehicles – of all shapes and sizes.

The case for electric vehicles (EVs) is plain. Yet making them the rule rather than the exception on our roads is another matter entirely.

It’s an issue that can sometimes seem to outrun local government, as gears turn in the private sphere and behind the doors of national energy policy. However, there is plenty to be done locally to motivate EV adoption. Local and regional powers can lay the perfect incentives, collaborations and conveniences for the electric revolution to race through your community.

There are numerous advantages. Greenhouse emissions – including those over a vehicle’s entire lifecycle – are 17-30% lower than petrol or diesel cars. EVs improve air quality and are much quieter on the streets. Thanks to their battery design, they also tend to have a lower centre of gravity, making them safer to drive. Worldwide demand is rising: the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions Scenario forecasts that 60% of new car sales will be electric by 2030, versus just 4.6% recorded in 2020.

Infrastructure, however, remains a concern. The simple fact is that charging ports (where they are, how to use them, and how rapidly they charge a vehicle) are the biggest roadblock to mainstream EVs. This is compounded by the challenge of residential tower blocks – where can people in shared accommodation, with limited space, make use of charging stations? Vehicle plugs aren’t always cross-compatible either. Regional governments can plan and spread awareness around the best spots for juicing up, ensuring drivers have what they need to depend on their new investments. Often, it's a case of analysing the number of potential EVs and the roles they perform in a given area, whether they’re linked to home or business use. 

Elsewhere, you may explore policy initiatives to make EVs more affordable. They still tend to cost more than their older equivalents, which will continue until the market picks up. In the meantime, an array of incentives such as free parking, grants, congestion fees or tax exemptions can spur consideration for a greener way to drive. We have myriad examples in this edition of Global Local, as well as more specific recommendations for community engagement and micro-e-mobility. They’re all set to make your hand at the wheel of this transformation much more assured. 

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This week's featured content

Implications of the accelerating global shift to electric vehicles

By Bryce Gaton, LGIU Associate

As the transition to electric vehicles (EV) continues to evolve globally, this briefing considers how the global trends might impact the EV landscape in Australia, including implications for fleet procurement and charging infrastructure.

The EV Transition has effectively become a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’, with nationally legislated end-dates for sales of new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles creeping ever closer, plus an increasing number of major car manufacturers setting their own dates for ceasing ICE vehicle production.

As a result, even if your current fleet turnover options include mainly ICE vehicles, the next cycle is likely to see fewer ICE and more electric options:

  • Segment by segment, EVs will be reaching price parity with their ICE brethren. The predicted date for parity to begin in some segments is 2023 to 2024, with all most likely to pass that point before 2030.
  • 30 per cent or more of Australian new vehicle sales will be electric – and closer to 70 per cent or more of sales in Europe – meaning ICE model choice will be severely reduced well before the ICE end dates.

LGIU Global Local Highlights

 

The long road ahead: creating a safe and sustainable micromobility strategy
This article looks at the benefits of and common problems arising from the global shift toward micromobility. Utilising global case studies and research, tips are provided on how to address issues while making the most of potential co-benefits, such as reducing inequality. 
Click here to read this article.

How local governments can support the transition to Electric Vehicles
This briefing explores the role of council staff in dealing with the adoption of electric vehicles in Council fleets, and also covers the provision of fleet charging infrastructure, and planning policies related to charging infrastructure. Click here to read this briefing.

The impact of new technology on transport
This briefing looks at how most developed countries appear to have passed 'peak car' level and are now entering an era where new forms of mobility, assisted by new technologies, will fundamentally change the way people get around. Click here to read this briefing.

Podcast: Happy birthday to Global Local!

To celebrate one year since we launched Global Local, listen to our special podcast marking the occasion. Host Ingrid Koehler and LGIU’s Chief Executive Jonathan Carr-West come together to chat about this exciting milestone along with all the big plans that are in store for Global Local’s future.

Innovation & Inspiration

Curated case studies and news from around the globe

China: Shenzhen, a leading light for electric cities

Despite the high carbon footprint of many emerging markets in East Asia, when it comes to setting the standards for mass EV adoption some countries are leading the way, with local initiatives tipping the scales back towards greener roads. In the Chinese city of Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong, large-scale electric vehicle developments have been underway since 2017, radically altering public transport. Shenzhen councillors chose to commit to a single proven innovation: electric buses with a large battery, which barely altered schedules as the new fleet hummed to life. In two years, 1,707 charging terminals became active across 104 stations, concentrating on bus terminals and airports. Meanwhile, other stations were erected in three key districts for logistics businesses, topping up electric vans, trucks and cars throughout the day. 
IEA | Greenbiz

Norway: Oslo Improves E-Scooter Safety Without Hitting The Brakes

The near-soundless zoom of your average e-scooter is a problem for many towns and cities. Despite embracing the scooters, Oslo's local government realised that incidents were getting out of control. Around 850 accidents – many involving alcohol on weekends – were registered in the first half of 2021. In response, Oslo council introduced a 11PM-5AM curfew on all scooter rentals. Hiring caps were also brought in, issuing 8,000 permits to all approved providers. Oslo now has a zoning map that determines the number of e-scooters that can be active in any one place. These zones can change to incorporate parking or outright bans if city governors deem them necessary. Debate rages on – operators argue that a general cap on e-scooter businesses is a better idea. Yet Oslo’s governors are keen to clamp down on e-scooter saturation while exploring their safe, civic use, such as a popular mode of last-mile transport (brought to light by a 2020 study from the Research Council of Norway and REGSMART project).
Eltis | Findings Press

Barbados: Government Vehicles Go Green & Inspire

Small Caribbean islands have been a hotbed of EV experiments for a while. Their modest size and requirements for energy backups in the wake of storms and floods make them an excellent testing ground for larger communities. Barbados is no exception. After its local government bought eight regular EVs and two electric buses for municipal use, the island has exploded with innovation. There are currently more than 1,000 EVs within a Barbadian population of just 287,000. Local funds increased to $22.5 million for 49 public electric buses in 2020, while plans have been laid for more green infrastructure by 2030. Furthermore, some industry tycoons call Barbados home. EV provider Megapower is one of several brands with a local HQ, welcomed by a two-year excise tax, VAT holiday and higher loan limits for public servants.  
Loop | IDB

Policy & Resources

Guide: Green Car Guide: How To Deliver A Community Engagement Plan
Bringing schools, businesses and residential communities together for EV adoption isn’t easy. You want a powerful, clear-cut message that can use different mediums – and hit sharp pain points – to ensure that electric vehicles aren’t left spinning their wheels. The Green Car Guide takes some tips from private-sector buy-in for civic engagement on this topic.

Case Study: ADEPT: Last-Mile Mobility In Buckingham
Buckinghamshire Council in the UK has partnered with Connected Places Catapult, the national innovation accelerator, to solve short journeys with EVs. After extensive research, three pilot schemes have been drawn up to tackle accessibility, air quality, driver behaviour and other challenges. An in-depth feasibility study is here for reference.

Guide: C40 Knowledge Hub: Drive Electric Vehicle Uptake In Your Community
From incentives like congestion charges and company tax exemptions to advice on scrapping, taxi age caps and car-share programmes, there’s a lot to get familiar with in the C40’s beginner breakdown for local governance. Learn about key strategies and regional examples for backup.

Policy: Alternative Fuels Data Centre: Examples Of Local Laws & Initiatives
Ideas are one thing, but the local laws supporting them are quite another. This resource from the U.S Department of Energy demonstrates how official rules and initiatives align for the good of communities exploring EVs. It’s somewhat dense, but well worth your time.

Thanks for reading!

Next week, we’ll take a look at helping communities with addiction, featuring case studies from Canada and Australia.

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