Written evidence from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) (ELV0060) 


Electric Vehicles Inquiry Response

This response has been developed by officers from Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transport authority for the West Midlands Combined Authority area. The combined authority represents the seven metropolitan districts/boroughs of the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Solihull and the four Black Country authorities of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, and Sandwell.

TfWM has an interest in the rollout of Electric Vehicles because of the impact that national guidance for transport decarbonisation has on the successful delivery the West Midlands Local Transport Plan (LTP) and our citizens. As a Local Transport Authority, we must have regard for national policy and guidance in local policy development, especially as we develop our new LTP. 


Summary Points

realise Net Zero.




Government approaches

1. What are the main obstacles to the achievement of the Government’s 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates? Are the phase-out dates realistic and achievable? If not, what steps should the Government take to make the phase-out dates achievable?

A key obstacle towards achieving Government’s 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates is the lack of a coordinated, long-term approach on strategy, funding, and delivery. While these phase-out goals signify a commitment to reducing emissions and promoting sustainable transportation, several obstacles must be overcome to make them a reality. There is also uncertainty around the future of motoring taxation linked to previous subsidies for zero emission vehicles and emerging conversations around road user pricing.

If local transport authorities are to support the successful delivery of the phase-out plan - and decarbonisation of transport in general - as rapidly and efficiently as possible, then there is a need for government to involve city regions more closely in the formulation and implementation of policy. The current fragmentation impacts on the ability of local transport authorities to support the provision of infrastructure and work with key partners to enable the transition to electric vehicles.


Other obstacles include:



To make the phase-out dates achievable, the Government should consider the following steps:

By addressing these challenges and implementing a targeted strategy, the UK can work towards achieving its ambitious phase-out dates while ensuring a smooth transition to a more sustainable transportation system.


2. Do the 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates serve their purpose to incentivise the development of an EV market in the UK? To what extent are car makers focusing on one date or the other? What are the impacts of the deadlines on the ability of the UK supply chain to benefit and how could the Government seek to further support the development of the UK EV industry? Would the introduction of a plan with key dates and timescales support the development of the EV industry in the UK?

The UK's 2030 and 2035 phase-out dates for internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) serve as significant incentives for developing the EV market. They provide a clear timeline for car manufacturers to shift their focus towards electric vehicles, encouraging investments in research, development, and production of EVs. Some car makers may prioritise one date over another, but both deadlines contribute to an overall push towards electrification.

To fully benefit from this transition, the government should support domestic production of EV components, such as batteries, and work closely with manufacturers to create a robust supply chain within the country. Additionally, introducing a plan with key dates and timescales can provide more clarity and stability for the industry, giving businesses a clearer roadmap for their investments and operations. This plan would further support the development of the UK EV industry by reducing uncertainty and facilitating long-term planning.


3. What specific national policies, regulations or initiatives have been successful, or have hindered, EV adoption to date? Are these policies or initiatives fit for purpose?

TfWM welcome the ambitious national policies around ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars. This will contribute to and accelerate the decarbonisation of the transport industry.

While the UK has implemented several successful policies and initiatives to promote EV adoption, such as Plug-In Car Grant, Congestion Charges and Low Emission Zones, Company Car Taxation, Charging Infrastructure Investments, Public Transportation fleet or Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme.

Documents that have supported the process also include:


However, there are still challenges to address such as Affordability, Battery Supply Chain, Consumer Education or freight and Fleet transition. Continued investment in charging infrastructure, affordability measures, and supply chain development, along with a focus on education and tailored support for specific sectors, can further enhance the effectiveness of these policies and initiatives in driving the growth of EV industry. The current VAT differential between public and at home charging coupled with the fuel duty freeze for petrol and diesel cars, is likely to deter many drivers from switching to an electric vehicle. Adjustments may be necessary to ensure policies remain fit for purpose as the industry evolves.

Policies of direct subsidies of vehicle purchase price and home chargepoint installation would also supplement the market. Focus on public EV charging is key, funding through LEVI is the right approach. Still more communication is needed to overcome some of the myths around EVs, particularly around lifecycle carbon impacts (with nuance – they are certainly better than ICE cars, but certainly worse than public transport or active travel). Communication needs to be delivered at all levels, materials from government that can be used by local authorities would be very useful, but some information needs to come from a local level, accounting for local situation.

There is a significant need to balance the adoption of EVs with the need to encourage modal shift to active travel and public transport. This does not ‘hinder’ the adoption but should be prioritised when considering private vehicle trips, as it has been shown that demand management and modal shift are needed to fully deliver decarbonisation of transport.


4. Given that the Government should apply a behavioural lens to policy—which involves people making changes to their everyday lives, such as what they purchase and use—is there a role for clearer communication of the case for EVs from the Government? If so, who should take the lead on delivering that?

There is a crucial role for clearer communication of the case for EVs from the government. Effective communication is essential for driving behavioural change and encouraging the adoption of EVs among the general public. For example, many people still lack awareness of the benefits of EVs, including reduced emissions, lower operating costs, and any government incentives. Clear communication can raise awareness and educate the public about these advantages or there are common misconceptions about EVs, such as concerns about range, charging infrastructure, and upfront costs. The government can address these misconceptions with accurate information.

The language used in the debate surrounding transport in general also matters. The false dichotomy on ‘motorist vs other’ is making a significant impact on the public debate and perception of the decarbonisation agenda. Pitting different transport modes against each other will only hinder the wider task of decarbonising. TfWM is utilising behavioural change for not only EV adoption, but also modal shift to public transport. We have recognised that modal shift to more sustainable modes is needed to fully realise decarbonisation of the transport industry. EV adoption also needs to be supplemented by more public transport use and the government’s behaviour change strategy and associated policies should reflect this. As well as the promotion of more sustainable energy systems and other behaviour change that will factor into achieving Net Zero. 


5. What is your view on the accuracy of the information in the public domain relating to EVs and their usage?

The accuracy of information in the public domain relating to electric vehicles (EVs) in UK and in many other countries, can vary widely specifically between evolving technologies and media and online sources. The rapid pace of advancement in the EV industry means that information can quickly become outdated. However, information from official government websites and publications have been accurate and reliable along with the reputable automotive manufacturer’s websites. Manufacturers publish detailed specifications, features, and performance data for their EV models. Another reliable source is the independent research studies. Reports from reputable organisations can provide valuable, unbiased insights into various aspects of EVs, from environmental impact to cost of ownership. Information on EV’s could benefit from being more consistent, more accessible and more up to date.


6. What are the overall environmental benefits that would result from achieving the 2030 and 2035 targets?

Achieving the 2030 and 2035 targets for phasing out internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) would lead to several environmental benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, lower noise pollution, and conservation of natural resources. It would also promote renewable energy use, decrease oil dependency, and foster technological innovation, positioning the UK as a global leader in sustainable transportation. It is a key action for achieving Net Zero in the UK and for achieving near-term climate targets.

Whilst use of EV’s produces zero tailpipe emissions and can reduce lifecycle emissions significantly, they are not entirely emission-free highlighting the continuing need for modal shift away from private vehicles. Like ICE vehicles, they generate harmful particulate matter from the wearing down of brakes, clutches, tyres and road surfaces, as well as by the suspension of road dust. The European Environment Agency (EEA) report outlines how manufacturing and production of EV’s carries a significant environmental impact, and is much higher than fuel-based vehicles, due to the materials used to produce an EV and the requirement of more energy to mine raw materials. These processes will need to be considered as the demand for these materials increases. A circular economy approach can help offset this, through approaches, for example encouraging reuse and recycling of vehicles and batteries.


7. What are the likely costs that will be faced by consumers as a result of the Government’s phase-out dates for non-zero emissions vehicles? Are there policies or initiatives that the Government could use to specifically target barriers arising from unpredictable costs to the consumer, for example significant fluctuations in the cost of electricity, changes to road taxes, or the introduction of low emission zones?

Consumers may face costs associated with electric vehicle (EV) adoption, including higher upfront prices, charging infrastructure expenses, and potential fluctuations in electricity costs, road taxes, and low emission zone charges. To mitigate these costs and uncertainties, the government can implement policies like continued incentives, stable electricity pricing, tax benefits, and support for low-income households. A clear and predictable policy framework, consumer education, and renewable energy promotion can also ease the transition to EVs and promote sustainability.

Consumers may also experience a higher purchase price, but lower operating cost of vehicles. Fluctuating electricity costs are an issue, but consumers accept fluctuating petrol/diesel prices, so this isn’t too unfamiliar. A focus on encouraging uptake of smaller, lighter, more efficient vehicles would be beneficial to this, as well as having much broader benefits.

The cost of second-hand ICE cars has also been on the rise. With the ban on the sale of ICEs coming forward this is likely to further increase costs of car ownership for consumers, which has the potential to widen the transport poverty gap. At the same time, where there have been grants available to consumers to support the uptake of EVs and associated infrastructure, this is likely to reduce as EVs become more mainstream and there are less alternatives.


EV Market and Acquiring an EV

8. What are the main routes for acquiring an EV? Which aspects of these routes are working well, and which aspects could be improved?

There are various routes for acquiring electric vehicles (EVs), each with pros and cons. new car dealerships offer a wide selection but may lack EV expertise. Online platforms provide convenience but lack in-person inspection. Leasing lowers upfront costs but has mileage restrictions. The used car market is cost-effective but has limited availability currently and battery concerns. Government incentives and fleet programs are also options.

What works well includes more EV availability, government incentives, and online convenience. Areas needing improvement are consumer education, charging infrastructure, pricing transparency, used EV market development, standardisation, and potential support for low-income households.




9. What are the main consumer barriers to acquiring an EV, either through purchasing, leasing, or other routes?

Common consumer barriers to acquiring an electric vehicle (EV) include the higher upfront cost, concerns about driving range and charging infrastructure, worries about battery health and depreciation, and limited model variety. Other barriers include perceived inconvenience, lack of incentives, and misinformation about EVs. Overcoming these barriers often requires government incentives, improved charging infrastructure, better consumer education, and a broader range of affordable EV options.


10. How is the Government helping to ensure that EVs are affordable and accessible for consumers, and are these approaches fit for purpose?

The government is promoting affordable and accessible EVs through financial incentives, charging infrastructure development, research and development support, regulatory measures, public awareness campaigns, and collaboration with the automotive industry. These approaches have been effective but require ongoing adaptation to evolving EV technology and consumer needs.

With the withdrawal of EV grants and home chargepoint grants, there are limited direct subsidies now. That said, the focus on the public charging infrastructure is the right one, as it benefits all EV users, not just those able to afford a new vehicle.


11. Do you think the range of EVs on offer in the UK is sufficient to meet market needs? Which segments are under-served and why? Why is the UK market not seeing low cost EVs, particularly in comparison to China?

The range of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK is expanding but may not fully meet market needs yet. Some segments, like smaller, lower-cost EVs, are under-served due to several reasons. The UK market has not seen as many low-cost EVs compared to China due to differences in market demand, incentives, and government policies. In China, stronger incentives, and a larger market for budget friendly EVs have driven their production and availability.

There are also issues around the prevalence of larger, heavier, more powerful luxury models of EV’s on the market which are unaffordable for the average customer and come with other costs to society/economy, such as continued tyre and road wear pollution. These models do not make EV’s accessible to the entire population and they do not fully tackle air quality issues.


12. What is the future role of L-segment and personal light electric vehicles, and how will that impact car ownership and usage? What is inhibiting their uptake?

Future Role of L-segment and PLEVs in the UK:

While L-segment and PLEVs offer promising urban solutions, infrastructure, regulations, and public awareness are key to their widespread adoption. Legislation of LPZEV’s should be brought forward quickly so that they can sufficiently provide an option for people to travel without the need for a car, thus working towards TfWM’s aims for modal shift and reduction in travel demand.




13. What is your assessment of the current second-hand EV market? How is the second-hand EV market projected to develop between now and the phase out dates?

Current Assessment of Second-hand EV Market: Research show that the second-hand EV market is growing, reflecting the initial surge in new EV sales a few years prior. Residual values are generally strong due to increased demand and limited supply.

Projected Development: With the phase-out dates for petrol and diesel vehicles approaching in many countries, demand for second-hand EVs is expected to rise. As more people adopt EVs initially, the second-hand market will see greater inventory and likely more competitive pricing. The second-hand EV market is poised for growth, driven by policy decisions and increasing initial EV adoptions.


14. What is the relationship between EV leasing and the second-hand market and how do they interrelate?

Supply Source: When EV lease contracts end, many of these vehicles enter the second-hand market. This provides a steady supply of relatively new, used EVs.

Predictable Inventory: Leasing contracts often have set durations, typically 2-4 years. This means dealers and secondary market participants can anticipate when a wave of off-lease vehicles will become available.

Vehicle Condition: Leased vehicles often come with maintenance agreements or stipulations to maintain the car in good condition, making them attractive in the second-hand market.

Price Influence: The influx of off-lease EVs can influence the pricing in the second-hand market. A large supply can lead to reduced prices, while a limited supply might sustain or increase prices.

Tech Evolution Impact: Given the rapid tech advancements in EVs (battery life, range, software), older models coming off lease contracts might face depreciation if they lack features present in newer models. This can impact their desirability and pricing in the second-hand market. EV leasing acts as a significant feeder system for the second-hand market, influencing both its inventory and pricing dynamics.


15. What barriers are there to achieving a sufficient supply of second-hand EVs, mindful that second-hand vehicles make up a high proportion of all vehicles purchased?

Barriers to a sufficient supply of second-hand EVs in the UK include:


In short, while the UK's commitment to phasing out ICE vehicles by 2030 promotes EV adoption, these barriers still impact the growth of the second-hand EV market.


16. What is the value and role of alternative transport models such as car clubs and micro mobility vehicles in the Government achieving the 2030 phase out date, and how should the Government consider their roles and opportunities for use in transport decarbonisation?

Shared mobility modes such as car clubs, shared bike and e-scooter schemes could have an important part in decarbonising the UK’s transport system through encouraging modal shift; improving transport choices and accessibility; and reducing the numbers of private vehicles on the road. However, the market may struggle due to the current lower costs and fewer barriers associated with personal car ownership. They would be more likely to play a greater role with subsidy and/or policies that in effect discourage car ownership.

Alternative transport models would support:



The Government should:


Their role can be considerable, both in accelerating the transition to EVs as the purchase cost is borne by the operator, not many individual consumers, and by reducing the number of vehicles in operation. They are particularly effective in reducing second and third cars in households which often do fewer miles, and for which the higher embedded carbon of EVs may be a greater issue. Micromobility could also offer a significant benefit, and legalisation of private eScooters (and other electric personal vehicles) should be a priority given their already widespread use which illustrates considerable demand for such a mode. A grant/subsidy system for ebikes or fewer regulatory barriers for car clubs could be a huge help, supporting people to get out of cars entirely, and reducing carbon emissions far more than EVs.


17. Are consumers charged higher rates of insurance for an EV when compared to an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, and if so, are these higher rates justified? Can the Government do anything to mitigate this?

Research shows that historically, EVs often had higher insurance premiums than ICE vehicles due to:

Insurers base rates on risk. If EVs represent a higher claim or repair cost, then higher rates are justifiable. But as the EV market evolves and repair infrastructure improves, rates should adjust. However, as the EV sector grows, this insurance rate gap has been decreasing.

To help reduce EV insurance rates, the Government can:

While early EV insurance might have been pricier, market growth and potential government actions can help bring costs more in line with ICE vehicles.



Experience of using an EV

18. What are the main challenges that UK consumers face in their use of EVs?

Main challenges faced by consumers in using EVs include:

These challenges, while decreasing as the EV sector grows, still represent hurdles for broader EV adoption in the UK.


19. What are the main benefits that UK consumers could realise from using an EV?

Main benefits for consumers using EVs include:

These benefits position EVs as an attractive option for UK consumers considering both their wallets and the environment.


20. How prepared are car dealerships, service networks, repairs and maintenance organisations, breakdown services and aftermarket suppliers to meet the growing EV uptake?

As the EV market expands in UK:



21. How does the charging infrastructure for EVs need to develop to meet the 2030 target? Does the UK need to adopt a single charging standard (e.g., the Combined Charging System (CCS)) or is there room in the market for multiple charger types?

To meet the 2030 target in the UK, the following is needed:


The current challenge highlights the need to have certainty and regulatory and financial clarity on the pathway from the Government for both local transport authorities and private suppliers, and support for the industry and authorities in making the necessary investments in delivering charging infrastructure. Private providers are more concerned with the most commercially attractive sites, leaving some locations under provided for. Local authorities suffer from piecemeal funding availability, planning permission delays, and regulatory barriers to delivery.

In busy areas, allocating space for electric vehicles to charge may not be popular with non-EV drivers as they would find their parking options reduced. There are also many other conflicting demands on street space from bike storage to loading bays. Overall, kerb side management is an increasing issue.

TfWM is also cautious of overprovision of EV charging infrastructure. If battery range technology continues to improve, this should reduce consumer range anxiety and therefore the number of public chargers needed. At the same time, we aim to reduce travel demand or shift travel to public transport/active travel modes which will also reduce the number of chargers needed as the number of personal vehicles reduces.


Regarding standards:

While a predominant standard like CCS may emerge as a leader, ensuring compatibility across systems is crucial for the UK's EV charging future.


22. The Government recently published the draft legislation of “Public Charge Point Regulations 2023”. What assessment have you made of the draft legislation text, and what contribution will it make in ensuring the charging experience is standardized and reliable for consumers?

The outlined regulations in Table 5 of the document underscore the UK government's commitment to fostering a transparent, reliable, and user-friendly EV charging ecosystem. By mandating standards like contactless payments, roaming capabilities, and clear pricing metrics, these policies aim to alleviate common pain points for EV users. The emphasis on open data and reliability showcases a vision of a transparent and efficient EV infrastructure. In sum, these regulations, with their set lead times, demonstrate a strategic approach towards accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, ensuring that as the EV market grows, consumers have a standardised and seamless charging experience.

Mandated reliability standards are very welcome, although enforcement of these standards may present a challenge. Improved payment methods are also welcomed.


23. What assessment do you make of the requirements set out in the draft legislation of “Public Charge Point Regulations 2023” for charge point operators to make data free and publicly available, and how may this improve the EV charging experience for consumers?

The "Public Charge Point Regulations 2023" draft legislation mandates charge point operators to openly share comprehensive data. This approach:


By making data freely available, the legislation aims to simplify and elevate the EV charging experience for users, particularly increasing accurate information about the availability of chargepoints for users. It also allows transport authorities to gain a better understanding of how charge points are utilised and how best to provide future charging infrastructure for residents. TfWM do encourage appropriate GDPR regulations to be adopted by charge point operators.


24. In terms of charging infrastructure, are there unique barriers facing consumers in areas of low affluence and/or multi-occupancy buildings, such as shared housing or high-rise flats? Do you consider public EV charging points to be accessible and equitable compared to home-charging points? What can be done to improve accessibility and equitability?

The charging infrastructure in UK presents challenges in areas of low affluence and multi-occupancy buildings:


In essence, while the UK is advancing in EV infrastructure, equitable access needs prioritising for a truly inclusive EV transition.

Currently those who have their own, personal off-street parking at home are at a considerable advantage in terms of cost, accessibility, and convenience. The lack of influence of local authorities over private and housing association operated flats presents a considerable challenge to uptake. These sites are also ideal locations for car club vehicles, as car ownership is typically lower than other types of housing. Supporting owner occupiers and tenants of flats to encourage freeholders to install chargepoints is going to be crucial, and if this mechanism can also incentivise shared vehicles that would be even better.

Rapid charging hubs could help with equitable access by allowing those who rent, live in apartments, or have no access to off street parking to have easy access to vehicle charging. TfWM are currently investigating charging hub locations within our updated EV Charging Strategy. However, beyond the limitations of the hub locations, charging at rapid charging hubs is usually more expensive than home charging and could disproportionately impact those on lower incomes without the ability to charge at home. Ensuring there is sufficient grid capacity for these hubs is also a challenge shared by all authorities as the cost for upgrades can be large.

25. Is there a financial benefit to the consumer of choosing an EV over an ICE vehicle? Are there further benefits, aside from financial, that a consumer may gain from EV use?

In the UK, consumers can experience financial benefits with EVs over ICE vehicles due to lower running costs, government incentives, and reduced road taxes. Additionally, EVs offer environmental benefits by reducing emissions, provide a quieter driving experience, improving air quality, and support the shift towards sustainable and renewable energy sources. This will also help the Government achieve its Net Zero and decarbonisation goals.


End of life disposal of EVs

26. What options are there for consumers for end-of-life management of batteries and EVs, and what impact does this have on consumer attitudes towards buying an EV?

Research shows that there are recycling and repurposing programmes for end-of-life EV batteries in UK, ensuring they don't end up in landfills. Manufacturers and organisations are exploring secondary uses, like energy storage solutions. While consumer awareness of these solutions is growing, concerns about battery degradation and disposal may initially deter some. Increasing awareness about responsible end-of-life management can boost consumer confidence in purchasing EVs.


27. What are the current regulations and responsibilities of disposal and recycling for EVs, and how effective are they? How much of the battery can be recycled from a technical standpoint, and how much of that is economically feasible?

In the UK, the End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) Directive mandates that vehicles, including EVs, are recycled or recovered up to a rate of 95%. EV batteries are under the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations, requiring producers to be responsible for collecting, treating, and recycling them. Technically, up to 90% of a battery's components can be recycled. However, economically feasible recycling rates can be lower due to the complexities of battery chemistries and costs involved. Current regulations and incentives are pushing towards enhancing the effectiveness of recycling processes and making them more cost-efficient.


28. Is there a risk that the residual value of EVs may be lower than the value of the EV as a source of recoverable critical minerals, and how might this effect the flow of EVs into the second-hand market?

As the EV adoption increases, there's potential that the residual value of older EVs may be influenced by the value of recoverable critical minerals in their batteries. If the value of these minerals significantly surpasses the vehicle's market value, it could incentivise early recycling over resale. This might reduce the availability of affordable second-hand EVs, potentially impacting the accessibility of electric mobility for certain consumer segments.


National and regional issues

29. What are the challenges or concerns around grid capacity in relation to significantly increased EV adoption?

Grid constraints pose a significant barrier to the roll-out of EV infrastructure, adding to the delivery cost, introducing delays and preventing sites from being commercially viable. In the UK, a surge in EV adoption could pose challenges for the electricity grid, especially during peak times. Concerns include potential localised grid overloads, increased demand during traditional peak hours, and the need for infrastructure upgrades.

Managing this demand will require smart charging solutions, grid enhancements, and possibly the integration of energy storage and renewable energy sources to ensure a reliable power supply. There is a need to move towards a more place-based approach to managing grid capacity and investment. There is an opportunity for local and city region authorities to encourage and facilitate this collaboration between transport and energy stakeholders.

This is part of the reason to prioritise and encourage EV drivers to charge where their vehicles dwell for long periods. Cars spend on average around 95% of their time parked, providing ample opportunity to charge at slower speeds for the overwhelming majority of charging events. This greater distributes electricity use geographically and temporally. Due to the associated costs of rapid charging, it is likely that most drivers will wish to charge at the slowest practical, available speed, anyway.

Regulatory tools, incentives and smart chargers can partially mitigate this anticipated peak demand. Bi-directional vehicle-to-grid charging can help to balance the grid; this enables the grid to draw energy from vehicle batteries, and vice-versa, effectively decentralising electricity storage throughout the EV stock. This will require technological advancement with the vehicles themselves and grid connections. Local authorities and DNO’s also require more funding to deliver grid enhancements.


30. What is the role of distribution network operators in ensuring EV infrastructure can be rolled out sufficiently to meet 2030 target?

In the UK, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) play a crucial role in the EV transition. They are responsible for upgrading and maintaining the local grid to handle increased EV demand. This involves ensuring sufficient capacity, implementing smart grid technologies, and facilitating connections for new charging points. DNOs' proactive involvement is essential to meet the 2030 target for ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. WMCA is currently delivering Local Area Energy Plans through Energy Capital.

There are also issues around both the cost and the prioritisation of projects within an area, which ought to be addressed. DNOs generally work on a first come first served basis in terms of providing grid upgrades, causing substantial delays for authorities looking to decarbonise vehicles according to local strategies, including public transport vehicles where grid upgrades are required e.g., to support a depot transitioning to EV. There is a need to make a change in this approach for the development of an approach based on set criteria, to prioritise grid upgrades with strategic importance. Alongside this, DNOs and local authorities should work together to ensure clarity on the forward pipeline of planned grid upgrades to enable planning and to capitalise on opportunities. DNO’s can also more openly share their data with Local Authorities to aid planning.


31. What are the requirements, challenges, or opportunities for the development of public charge point delivery across the UK? How will the development of EV charging infrastructure in the UK interact with existing planning regulations?

The development of public charge points is crucial to support the EV transition in UK. Requirements include ensuring accessibility, reliability, and coverage, especially in rural areas. Challenges encompass grid capacity, planning regulations, and ensuring equity across regions. Opportunities lie in technological advancements and potential for job creation. Existing planning regulations may need to adapt to accommodate the rapid deployment of charging infrastructure, balancing local concerns with national ambitions.

There are a number of significant, currently untapped opportunities. Firstly, is vehicle to grid charging, where EVs can provide a significant amount of the energy storage which is required to help transition the grid onto renewable energy which can be less predictable than gas. Secondly, the encouraging of use of more shared mobility solutions, such as car clubs, that reduces demand for private vehicle charging. Thirdly, careful planning of EV infrastructure can help change parking behaviours which are undesirable in our urban environment, such as pavement parking, but even on-street parking more generally by using more efficiently the large amount of surface level car parks in our towns and cities. Finally, chargepoints can provide a much-needed revenue stream for local authorities, which can be invested in the most sustainable transport modes – public and active travel.


32. What are the issues facing rural residents, urban residents, and sub-urban residents and how do they differ?

Rural residents often face limited public charging infrastructure and potentially longer distances to essential services, making range and accessibility critical. Because public transport often is not as frequent or reliable as it is in towns and cities, rural households are more likely to rely on cars to access amenities and services. They are likely to be more directly impacted by the upcoming phase out targets, and therefore require particular attention and planning.

Urban residents, especially those in multi-occupancy buildings, may lack off-street parking for home charging. They also face air quality issues, making EV adoption beneficial. Suburban residents generally have better access to home charging due to driveways but might require more fast-charging stations for longer commutes. Each group's needs differ, underscoring the importance of a diversified EV strategy.

Consistent across all areas is the issue of a lack of infrastructure. Differences often stem from a difference in the levels of off-street parking available, and the commercial viability of public charging in less densely populated areas. This is important as cars in rural areas tend to cover larger difference, and therefore transitioning them to EV had a greater impact than with urban vehicles. Also, the alternatives are more limited in rural communities, so EVs present a more necessary part of the decarbonisation puzzle than in urban areas where public and active travel should be prioritised. This is reflected in the West Midlands Local Transport Plan.


33. What role do you see local authorities playing in the delivering the 2030 phase out target, particularly in relation to planning regulations, charge points and working with District Network Operators? How can government best support local authorities in their roles?

Local authorities in the UK are crucial for the 2030 phase-out target. They can facilitate planning permissions for charge points, collaborate with Distribution Network Operators for grid upgrades, and tailor EV solutions to local needs. To support them, the government should provide clear guidelines, allocate dedicated funds for EV infrastructure, offer training, and foster partnerships between local authorities and private stakeholders. Without sustained funding - both capital funding for installation of infrastructure and revenue funding for resource and capacity to plan for chargepoints - local authorities will be unable to deliver on this at scale.

The public sector also has a key role to play in supporting charging that may be less commercially attractive to industry but may be of social importance. Transport and local authorities lack adequate leverage in relation to DNOs, which is leading to higher costs and delays in the transport electrification initiatives.

Provision of the chargepoints across all local authority owned land – on street, in public car parks, and across social housing, should be a priority for local delivery. Scrutiny of planning applications with EV charging components to ensure the appropriate placement of infrastructure, and the appropriate speeds and standards of chargepoints to support the likely usage in a given area is also necessary from local planning authorities.

TfWM are developing their EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy which will sit alongside the West Midlands Local Transport Plan. Local authorities in our region are more equipped to deliver chargepoints, including through public-private partnerships. Therefore, this strategy works with LAs to identify key locations for charging provision, funding mechanisms and long-term strategy for delivery.


International perspectives

34. What are the successful approaches to the rollout and uptake of EVs in other countries, and what can the UK learn from these cases?

Many countries have successfully boosted EV adoption through incentives, infrastructure investments, and public awareness campaigns. For instance, Norway's significant tax breaks, free tolls, and robust charging infrastructure have led to high EV uptake. The Netherlands and China have focused on expanding public charging networks and setting strict emission standards. France mandates that car club vehicles be electric or hybrid models. There are also successful examples of car club use across Europe. The UK can learn from these cases by tailoring incentives, ensuring robust infrastructure, setting clear policies, and promoting public awareness on EV benefits.