The UK government’s Geospatial Commission has launched a discovery project to explore how location data can be better utilised to support the planning and delivery of electric vehicle charge points by local authorities.
The UK has committed to transitioning to electric vehicles (EV) by 2030, in support of ambitious net-zero targets, and charging infrastructure will be necessary to facilitate this change. Local authorities will play a crucial role in enabling this transition.
This project will support the approach set out in the government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, published by the Department for Transport, which focuses on enabling the rollout of a robust EV charge point infrastructure network by 2030. Setting out a vision and approach for EV infrastructure roll-out and expectations of key stakeholders, the Strategy identifies that addressing barriers to data sharing will be important to enable decision making.
Dr Steve Unger, Commissioner at the Geospatial Commission, said: “Location data will play a key role in planning the UK’s transition to electric vehicles and help make net-zero a reality. Through this project, the Geospatial Commission will understand the challenges faced by local authorities who wish to exploit location data. By working together, we will be able to unlock the potential for data-driven innovation in transport.”
The Geospatial Commission discovery project includes workshops with 10 local authorities to identify challenges and opportunities for better use of location data in the rollout of EV charge point infrastructure. This project will be undertaken by technical specialists Frazer-Nash Consultancy.
Matthew Perrin, Digital Services Innovation Lead, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, said: “Geospatial data is vital to planning, installing and running an effective charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. We are really looking forward to working with the Geospatial Commission and local authorities on this important study, providing our expertise in geospatial data and discovery to enable this important step on the UK’s journey to net-zero.”
Local authorities that are involved in the project include, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, and Kent County Councils, as well as City of York Council and Leeds City Council.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate from Leeds City Council, said: “Over the last five years, Leeds has taken a range of actions, offering free electric van trials, discounted parking and requiring charge points in new developments, to accelerate our city’s transition to less polluting vehicles.
“With figures showing that the number of plug-in vehicles in Leeds has doubled over the last year, it is vitally important that we understand how best to expand and improve access to charging infrastructure for drivers on the go or without private parking. We are therefore excited to be part of this timely project.”