Accelerating EV Charging Infrastructure and Smart Ticketing in the Midlands: TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023 Retrospective


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As a Sub-National Transport Body, Midlands Connect (MC) is leading both regionally and nationally on the electric vehicle and integrated ticketing agenda whilst working with partners including 22 Midlands Local Authorities, 9 Local Enterprise Partnerships, National Highways, Network Rail, HS2 and DfT. Head of New Technologies Bharat Pathania is overseeing Midlands Connect’s pioneering Technology, Digital and Energy programme.

Bharat’s keynote at TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023 presented the actions and steps MC are taking to accelerate the EV infrastructure in the Midlands and help Midlands LTAs to adopt a region wide integrated ticketing solution for public transport.

Summary of presentation highlights:

  • “Midlands Connect is the strategic transport partnership of our region” – Detailed breakdown of the MC partnership, including: Midlands Connect & Midlands Engine; Airports; Shire & Unitary Authorities; West Midlands Combined Authorities Councils; Non WMCA City Councils; Chambers of Commerce; Local Enterprise Partnerships; Government Agencies; and Government Departments;
  • MC’s Technology and Innovation Program – Integrated Ticketing; Electric Vehicle; MRN Technology; Technology Route Maps & Action Plans; Alternative Fuels;
  • EV Charging Infrastructure in Midlands:
  • Technology Gap Analysis – 2020: 1) EV fast charge points 2) EV rapid charge points 3) Account based CPC Model 2/3 4) EV ultra-rapid charge points 5) MaaS applications 6) Contactless card centric payment systems 7) Contactless Payment Card (CPC) Model 1 (prepay as you do) 8) Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) digital infrastructure 9) Micro mobility (bicycles, eBikes, eScooters etc) 10) Bus Rapid Transit, Very Light Rail and Autonomous VLR;
  • Accelerating EV Charging in the Midlands – In 2021 MC published their Regional Infrastructure Strategy, “Supercharging the Midlands” – EV Charging Strategy and Policies; EV Charging Technology Standards; Baseline Assessment; EV Charging Monitoring, Evaluation and Validation; Forecasting Future Trends; Inhouse EV Forecasting Tool;
  • EV and EVCP Forecasts – e.g. Midlands expecting 546,713 EVs by 2025 and 2,059,611 EVs by 2030; 65,087 EV Chargepoint Sockets required by 2030 etc;
  • Delivering the Requirements – Planning for the right charge point, in the right location, at the right time; Overcoming grid capacity constraints; Harnessing the optimum delivery and funding models; Monitoring and evaluation; Collaboration and coordination; Recognising risk and uncertainty;

  • Tacking the Challenge – 1) Development of SOBC (2022): Demonstrate how groups of LAs can work together to achieve economies of scale to deliver required CPs 2) Scope of the SOBC: To deliver 9,412 EVCP units between 2023 and 2030 across five selected Midlands’ local authorities 3) Work conclusions e.g. 18% public sector contribution needed, equating to £32.3m public sector funding over a ten-year period with £452m private sector investment; 1232 standard/fastchargers , 8180 rapid/ultra-rapid chargers etc 4) Business case ready and reworked for LEVI pilot submission;
  • LEVI Pilot – 1) Midlands Consortium: Lincolnshire County Council lead the bid in partnership with Stoke-On-Trent City Council, Herefordshire Council, Leicestershire County Council and Rutland Council 2) Project chosen for its approach and innovation, in which it was awarded just under £1m in grant funding to deliver >349 chargepoint sockets, with aim to bring in £2.8-£5.6m in private investment 3) Potential to fund more chargepoint sockets than expected 4) MC – Central program management role 5) Ongoing site selection, soft market testing, CPO and DNO engagement, commercial modelling and internal governance 6) Project planning and tender specification; Site selection in summary; Contract summary;
  • FBC and LEVI Tranches – 1) This pilot has helped MC shape their 2023 Regional EV infrastructure aims and develop a Region wide full business case 2) Announcement of LEVI Full funding in March 2023 indicative of £66.5m of UK government funding to invest in EV infrastructure across the Midlands 3) LEVI process made up of two tranches – one for 2023/24 and one for 2024/25 4) MC FBC support offered regional consortium support, 13 LTAs have joined together to form two consortiums which accounts for 51% of the Midlands indicative allocated LEVI funding 5) LEVI tranche stages 1-3;
  • Lessons Learnt so far –  During the case making;
  • Lessons Learnt so far – Through the LEVI pilot and Tranches;

  • Smart Ticketing:
  • Smart Ticketing in Midlands – Two established ITSO ticketing schemes in Midlands; Promote Swift and Robinhood schemes in Midlands; Leverage existing relationship in the region; Contactless ticketing – London has set the precedence; MC Vision – “A single card or account that is acceptable to travel on public transport anywhere within the Midlands”;  Making ticketing and travelling options simpler and more transparent across the Midlands; Enable seamless travel between different operators and all modes of transport;
  • The Challenge – Each operator has purchased their own technical solution for contactless bank card acceptance and the contactless bank card solutions purchased by operators cannot communicate with each other;
  •  2017-2021 – In 2018, MC – in partnership with TfWM, NCC and ROG – funded and designed the functional/technical specification (Broker Solution); 2021 – Updated the Broker business case with input from TfWM and NCC; Budgetary asks to DfT for £20m paused due to other existing national ticketing program; Continuous engagement with multiple LTAs, DfT and soft market testing of the Broker Solution;
  • Proposed Broker Solution – A trip aggregation service for trips occurring within the multi-operator scheme; A revenue apportionment service for the multi-operator scheme; Minimise the effort to integrate to the broker; Minimise impacts to the normal back office/PSP transaction processing flows; Minimise PCI-DSS implications; It does not prevent single-operator capabilities; Minimise GDPR implications; It does not require customer registration; Support multi-operator M2 aggregated PAYG across one or several transit schemes or regions;
  • DfT BSIP Bulletin – 19th May 2022: Next Steps for Ticketing – incl. “We are supporting the delivery of a single, nationwide solution to enable the integration of the back offices of different bus operators. Work is underway to develop an Outline Business Case with Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Midlands Connect (MC) to develop a ‘broker’ system subject to a satisfactory case being made”; and “Midlands Connect will be developing guidance and materials to help LTAs and operators in their preparations for integration into the broker solution once it is ready for deployment”;

  • Recent Developments (2022 till now)…
  • Workstream 1 – Development & implementation of Broker in WMCA and NCC area: 1) TfWM got access to develop broker solution for West Midlands and then wider Midlands 2) TfWM have agreed to fund the CAPEX and OPEX eventually being provided by the operators 3) In progress – Joint Venture (TfWM and Project Coral) 4) Project team includes TfWM, Midlands Connect and Project Coral 5) Tender spec is finalised 6) PIN notice issued on 2nd Oct and supplier day held in Birmingham on Oct 23rd;
  • Workstream 2 – National Outline Business Case for Broker: DfT is supportive of a single multi-operator ticketing solution for England; Identifying broker as the optimal solution workable outside London; MC is leading on the National OBC work with DfT and TfWM – Bus + Tram; National OBC will be completed over the next two months; In discussions with DfT to scope next stages of development;
  • Workstream 3 – Preparing LTAs and other STBs for Broker: 1) The work will include – Midlands wide assessment of LTAs and bus operators hardware/back-office; Guidance on setting up a multi modal and multi operator ticketing scheme; Guidance and materials for integration into broker; 2) Work is complete but will have a mix of data and information – with key elements missing across the board. The information will be recovered on an individual basis working with operators and LTAs 3) MC will be setting up an Integrated Ticketing Advisory Forum (ITAF) to help Midlands LTAs and national STBs with the onboarding process and broker requirements 4) LoS will be sent to all LTAs regarding Broker informal support 5) All seven STBs nationally shared briefing notes with their LTAs regarding the LoS

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Drapers’ Hall, Coventry, for the live in-person event on November 22nd, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Bharat’s keynote).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023

On November 22nd we will be casting a spotlight over Central England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the burgeoning city-regions of the West and East Midlands, and beyond.


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