Oxford City Council is facilitating the transition to a zero emission fleet in the city by acting as a ‘living lab’ to get new ideas off the ground quickly to benefit residents. The council is undertaking a programme to install about 100 electric vehicle charging stations in Oxford’s residential streets to encourage residents, businesses and visitors to use electric cars.
The trial is the first on-street charging pilot of its size in the world. It sees six different charging technologies being installed – ranging from cable gullies to retrofitting lamp posts with charging stations – with the aim of finding the best solutions for Oxford residents. Otherwise, residents who own electric vehicles and have on-street parking in Oxford’s narrow terraced streets struggle to charge their cars.
The council is installing £500,000 of electric vehicle charging points for taxis to phase out older, high-emitting hackney cabs from the city in an effort to reduce air pollution. The council is working closely with COLTA (City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association) on the scheme, which will see 19 electric vehicle charging points installed for the exclusive use of hackney and private hire taxis.
The council has also secured £200,000 of funding to purchase electric delivery vehicles and install charging points for Oxford’s historic independent market, the Covered Market. The funding is part of the council’s efforts to help Covered Market businesses get ready for the introduction of the world’s first Zero Emission Zone, to be introduced progressively across the city centre from 2020. The money will be used to purchase two electric light goods vehicles and three cargo bikes for use of Covered Market traders, and install three electric vehicle charging points in a key street.
The city of Oxford was awarded £474,000 to become the first city in the world to trial ‘pop-up’ on-street electric vehicle charging points. Residents across Oxford nominated their street to take part in the project, which sees 20 ‘UEone’ retractable pavement bollards being installed on a street with on road, off pavement parking.
The scheme is available to residents who currently have electric vehicles, and those who want to own an electric vehicle. The UEone was developed specifically to provide charging for the 43% of UK households who have on-street parking. The charging points will be app-operated and will retract underground when not in use.
Whilst Oxford now has more shared electric vehicles per head of population than any other UK city, the council is keen to further encourage electric vehicle usage. One of the ways to do this has been the creation of a car club with ten electric vehicles on the city’s streets.
The cars are available to anyone for pay-as-you-go hire which means residents and visitors to Oxford have more opportunity to make their journeys in a zero-emission car than anywhere else in the country. The aim of the project is to reduce air pollution in the city and further lower Oxford’s carbon emissions by giving more people the option of driving electric vehicles. With climate change the direct result of our broken economy, Oxford seeks to tackle our climate crisis in ways that make our society fairer.