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Norfolk set to accelerate electric vehicle uptake

08 September 2021

A new electric vehicle strategy is set for discussion next week as county councillors consider practical ways to help boost the uptake of carbon cutting electric vehicles across Norfolk.

In April there were already 2,631 electric vehicles registered across Norfolk, however there are big differences between parts of the county with 22% of those in South Norfolk and only 5% in Great Yarmouth. There are also relatively few public chargers, with Norwich home to 44 of the 198 currently across Norfolk as a whole.

Cllr Barry Stone, Chair of the Infrastructure and Development Select Committee and Member Champion for Carbon Neutrality 2030, said:

“We are looking to make sure that the benefits of switching to electric vehicles are realised as quickly as possible in the county. Switching to electric vehicles has been identified in the latest draft Local Transport Plan as one of the most effective policies in reducing carbon emissions from transport.

“While we can’t make that happen on our own, the strategy identifies things that we can do to accelerate take up and help remove some of the barriers to electric car ownership, specifically regarding charging.

“We want to make it easier for people to charge their electric cars at home, seek funding for more public charge points in Norwich, and make it easier for local communities to access public chargers across the county.”

The electric vehicle strategy is one part of the work underway by the county council to achieve its ambitious target of net zero carbon by 2030. The strategy will complement other sustainable transport initiatives to boost active travel and cut carbon outputs, such as the hire schemes for e-scooters and e-bikes in Great Yarmouth and Norwich, and new zero emission buses.

The report to be considered by the committee highlights that the county council can play an important role in helping to increase the uptake of electric vehicles by not only ensuring that the necessary charging infrastructure is in place but also by setting a good example to local businesses and organisations as a result of electrifying its own fleet.

The strategy also proposes placing a requirement on developers to ensure every new home with a parking space has access to an electric vehicle charge point.

The new Electric Vehicle Strategy will be discussed by the Infrastructure and Development Select Committee when they meet on Wednesday, 15 September. Read papers for the meeting online.

Further information

The county council pledged to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, as part of the authority’s Environmental Policy which was adopted in November 2019. Read more about our Environmental Policy.

With the national ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, the uptake of electric vehicles is set to increase rapidly over the next decade. As cars and vans make up nearly a fifth of carbon emissions, this shift is set to bring significant reductions in carbon emissions across the UK.

One of the proposals is to introduce a process for residents to apply for a licence to safely place charging cables across pavements in order to charge electric vehicles on street. It’s intended to help people who may live in terraced streets, with no off-street parking or charging nearby, to top up their car at home while keeping paths safe for all. The licence would only be for a period of two years initially in the hope that public charging infrastructure can evolve in that time to help better meet future demand.

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