Written evidence from Hertfordshire County Council (ELV0090) 


Please find below Hertfordshire County Council’s (HCC) response to selected questions for the UK Parliament Call for Evidence into transitioning to Electric Vehicles: Call for Evidence - Committees - UK Parliament


Hertfordshire’s vision for the EV network is to enable residents and businesses across Hertfordshire to recharge their vehicles conveniently, and appropriately. This will facilitate the conversion of vehicles to meet Hertfordshire’s climate and air quality commitments and prepare drivers for the phase out of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030 when around 30% of the fleet is expected to be electric.


Our electric vehicle charging strategy serves as a roadmap for facilitating the transition to an electrified transportation network. It provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges associated with EV charging infrastructure and outlines our plans and objectives to expand the current EV network and encourage the future uptake. 


Including in our response below are insights into some of the challenges we face or expect to face in the near future in regard to expanding the EV network and encouraging EV uptake.



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?


Main obstacles:


Are phase out dates realistic/achievable?


What can the government do to make the milestones more achievable?


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 are clear behavioural barriers that are preventing people from adopting EVs, such as range anxiety, the perception of inadequate charging infrastructure, the mistaken belief that vehicles need to be charged outside homes every night, lack of awareness of the benefits on EVs, concerns about affordability, concerns about charging times, habitual behaviour, perceived inconvenience, and psychological barriers.  A concerted effort to educate consumers and alleviate concerns should be conducted at both a national and local level.


Regarding charging behaviours, highlighting the benefits of destination charging has an important role to play in dispelling the myth that vehicles need to be charged daily.  Destination charging offers drivers more choice and is likely to become increasingly important given the emerging behavioural model of top up charging.  The visibility of chargepoints at key destinations can also raise public confidence in availability, even for those who are unlikely to depend on public charging in practice due to having off-street parking at home. 


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


The issues with accuracy are often down to the abundance of information that come from a range of diverse sources, including government agencies, automakers, advocacy groups, news outlets, academics, and social media.


There is a particular gap in knowledge about what the private sector (e.g., supermarket chains, fuel forecourt providers, hotel chains) are planning to do in relation to the installation of EV chargers.


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 petrol and diesel vehicles in favour of electric vehicles (EVs) will result in significant environmental benefits, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality from the removal of tailpipe emissions, and decreased reliance on fossil fuels. All of which are critical for the UK to achieve net zero by 2050. It should be recognised however the problems such as particulate matter pollution, road congestion and safety issues will remain and the rollout towards EV needs to be in line with other strategies such as investment in active travel infrastructure.


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?


In the current climate, transitioning to an EV could be expensive for the average consumer, both in terms of purchasing the vehicle, charging (if energy prices remain high/volatile and/or if they don’t have access to a home charger), and the ongoing upkeep and maintenance.  Incentives to support the transition for consumers could include:



National and regional issues


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


Significantly increased EV adoption could create challenges and concerns related to grid capacity as the demand for electricity to charge these vehicles will increase.  The key challenges include:


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


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?


Interactions with existing planning regulations are essential to ensure that EV charging stations are installed in suitable locations and that the expansion of the charging network aligns with urban and environmental planning objectives.


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


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?


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?


Incentives and Subsidies:

Purchase Incentives:

Urban Planning:

Education and Outreach:

Collaboration with Industry:

Support for Used EVs:

Regulatory Framework:

Battery Recycling and Repurposing:

Public Transportation Electrification:

Carbon Pricing: