Businesses back bid to boost electric vehicle use across West of England
Local businesses are backing a multi million-pound bid to government to support a dramatic increase in the use of green transport throughout the West of England.
The area’s four local authorities are preparing a bid for up to £11m to secure investment from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles which would be used to provide better and more sustainable ways for people to travel across the area.
If successful, the bid would help bring lasting benefits to the West of England, as the area moves towards wider and growing use of plug-in vehicles.
Benefits identified by the bid team would include:
• Making it easier to charge plug-in vehicles by increasing the network of charging points in the West of England, from 200 to up to 600.
• Providing on-street charging points.
• Providing additional plug-in vehicles across the four local authority fleets, setting an example for the area.
• Improving local air quality.
Organisations supporting the Go Ultra Low West campaign include:
Business West, Bristol Airport, University of the West of England, City of Bristol College, Bristol-based marketing company Proctor + Stevenson and the Environment Agency.
James Durie, Director of Business West, is one local businessman leading the drive for electric vehicles. Since May last year, James has been driving the ‘Nissan Leaf’ car, reducing his running costs by at least 50 percent in comparison to a petrol car.
He said: “Plug-in cars make commercial and business sense. The bid to increase the number of charge points is hugely important because it would encourage the wider uptake of electric vehicles across the West of England and bring lasting environmental benefits to the area.
“The more that the West of England can do to promote sustainable travel, and tackle poor air quality and congestion, the better.”
City of Bristol College is an example of a local organisation championing sustainable travel. With support from Travel West and the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), six new electric charging points have been installed at the college for staff and student use.
The installation of electric charging points is part of an ongoing programme of green initiatives including a recent purchase of two Nissan eNV200 electrics which are used on-site for the college’s internal post and estates services.
Simon Williams, Sustainability Manager and Head of Procurement at City of Bristol College, said: “Introducing electric vehicles and charging points to City of Bristol College is part of the wider plan to support sustainable travel. Bristol has a great reputation for green initiatives with its European Green Capital title, so we are always looking for ways to replicate this and promote environmental friendliness.
“We see the provision to support electric vehicles as a really important part of the drive towards sustainability in our area. Sustainability is high up on the agenda at the college, and we are looking at ways to expand our uptake of electric vehicles and charge points on-site in the future.”
Roger Proctor, Founder and Managing Director of Proctor + Stevenson is a strong supporter and has instigated a plug-in vehicle policy for company car users at his company.
“After switching to an electric, I worked out that I could pay for the vehicle with the money I had saved by using it in about 3.5 years, so it’s had good financial as well as environmental benefits.
“My colleagues have been converted after switching to these vehicles. If we’re going to attract the best people to work here, then investing in and supporting the use of these vehicles is the right thing to do.”
Read more about the Go Ultra Low West campaign and pledge your support HERE!
How you can support the bid
We want businesses and local people to support our bid, to demonstrate to government the strong appetite for better, more sustainable travel measures in the West of England.
There are a number of ways in which you can do this.
• Contacting Jacob Pryor in the bid team at email@example.com with details of what your organisation is doing in this area and your plans for the future
• Signing the pledge form that’s been set up on the project website on http://travelwest.info/projects/goultralowwest
• Using the dedicated #ultralowwest hashtag to demonstrate your support on social media
Contact: Jacob Pryor for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org