Kirklees Council has reaffirmed its strategy to electric vehicle charging as part of its plans for the climate emergency and improving air quality.
Working across 17 sites, the local authority has installed 12 charges to date with five planned – and how will be delivering an additional four chargers in 2021, bringing the total to 21 across the district.
Previously, the local authority has also worked with hospitals and hotels to deliver 17 chargers at 15 different sites. The council said it was working on an evidence-based electric vehicle strategy for the district to ensure local needs are met.
Working alongside other councils, the recently employed Regional West Yorkshire Low Emission Officer will work collaboratively with West Yorkshire authorities to deliver local and regional air quality projects and to update the West Yorkshire Low Emission Strategy.
In addition to this policy, the council has backed this aim financially by investing £2m towards public infrastructure and its own fleet. £1m of this funding will be used to deliver an additional 20 rapid chargers and 20 fast chargers.
This investment will make possible the move to an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) fleet, it said, and will encourage residents to make the switch to electric and will attract visitors knowing they can access a network of unrestricted vehicle charge points.
The council also has 20 electric cars, five electric vans and 50 hybrid cars currently in use plus 35 electric vans recently ordered. Alternative propulsion options are being explored, alongside electric, for the HGVs they operate, such as Hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Councillor Paul Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “As a council we are absolutely committed to delivering a network of electric vehicle charge points across Kirklees and ensuring we demonstrate leadership by converting our council fleet and equipment to ULEV equivalents.
“We believe that this move and allowing access to free parking whilst charging, will give residents the confidence to switch to ULEV. ULEV are the future and compared to petrol/diesel equivalents will greatly contribute to improvements in air quality so it’s right that we encourage as many people as we can to make the switch by offering the infrastructure needed to enable change.”