Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Air Quality Engagement in Oxfordshire: EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class 2024 Retrospective


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At EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class 2024 earlier this month, Oxfordshire County Council’s ZEV & Energy Integration Team Leader, Paul Gambrell, and Oxford City Council’s Principal Air Quality Officer, Pedro Abreu, teamed up to deliver a fascinating keynote in two parts:

The councils in Oxfordshire have for several years now been involved in many projects to encourage the move to electrified vehicles. Paul provided an overview of the work completed to date and the resulting impacts, and also outlined “what’s next” on Oxfordshire’s electrification journey.

Oxonair is an innovative air quality website, built in partnership with all local authorities in Oxfordshire. Pedro explained how it has been designed in a simple and accessible way, with significant input from members of the public, to be used as an important public engagement tool to inform, communicate, and raise awareness of air pollution amongst visitors and residents across the County.

Summary of presentation highlights:

Part one

  • Key Projects in Oxfordshire – Go Ultra Low Oxford; Gul-E ODS; Park & Charge Oxfordshire;
  • EV Charging Projects…
  • Go Ultra Low Oxford: O-GULO – Charging solutions for residents with no off street parking at home, with dedicated car club bays; OXPOPS – Pop-up charging, now decommissioned; Oxford gulley solution for home charging; ESO – UK’s largest Superhub, HV Powered; T-GULO – Rapid EV Taxi Charging;
  • Gul-E – Passive channel recessed into pavement, allowing charging cable (connected to home charger) to safely traverse pavement while charger in use;
  • Park and Charge Hubs in Car Parks – EV charging hubs in 20 District Council owned car parks – fully funded, no cost to councils; Total of 125 ‘standard’ 7-22 kW AC double chargers/250 charge points – average of 12 EV charging bays per site; Tap and Go contactless payments, cheaper overnight tariffs and free parking overnight; Greater EV charging provision supplied for commuters and visitors to use during the daytime; High visibility of public chargers leading to increased confidence;
  • Mapping Oxfordshire’s predicted early mass EV adoption and low driveway probability hotspots;
  • Oxfordshire EV Infrastructure Strategy (OEVIS) – 25% of Oxfordshire’s cars will be EVs in 2030, 93% in 2040 BUT…Around 36% of households have no driveway; Working with district and city councils, Oxfordshire County Council have developed an EV Infrastructure Strategy for Oxfordshire; Central to this strategy are i) Off-street charging hubs ii) Low impact on-street charging; gullies and lamp-post chargers iii) On-street charging bollards;

  • Public engagement is key e.g. Park and Charge launch events across Cherwell, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse in April; ‘EVs are for Everyone’ meet the experts and EV test drive event at Redbridge Park & Ride;
  • Online tools to track demand – OCC has an online tool allowing residents to suggest locations for: EV charging hubs, EV chargers on the Highway and EV car club vehicles;
  • Oxfordshire wide EV Car Club Pilot – 12-month pilot scheme based at Park and Charge hubs, extended to September 2024;
  • Impacts – At end of 2023, 34,000 cars registered in Oxfordshire BEV (Source: National EV Insight and Support tool); By March 2024, % of new car BEV registrations in the Oxford area was 32% (Source: newautomotive.org); Park and Charge – Over 500t CO2 saved and over 3,000,000 electric miles provided (Source: EZ-Charge);
  • What’s next?
  • OX-LEVI Programme – Funded by the OZEV LEVI Grant: More ‘Park and Charge’ style hubs in Council car parks (incl. accessible and van bays, and EV car club provision); Community ‘micro-hubs’ at village halls, community centres and other rural locations/deprived areas; On-street charging where it’s needed; EV charging hubs at Park and Rides; A major roll out of gullies across Oxfordshire; The foundations for further EV car clubs and mobility hubs as we move towards Net Zero; Continuing to take inspiration from other pioneering local authorities e.g. Suffolk County Council’s ‘Plug in Suffolk’ – the UK’s first open access STANDARD Country-wide charging network;

Part two

  • Behavioural Change – Voluntary behavioural change is a challenge as it cannot be imposed. The power to change lies with the individuals themselves; According to the World Bank, empowering citizens to participate and integrating their voice into the development process act as key accelerators to achieving results; As part of Clean Air Day, Global Action Plan revealed that people tend to respond well when given accurate information and the means to do something about air pollution; DfT say people need to know about new or existing initiatives or types of behaviour and understand what the benefits are for them – they need to trust the source of information and they need it to be communicated in a language they can engage with;
  • OXONAir – Oxfordshire’s Air Quality Website…
  • Website’s vision – “To develop an innovative AQ website, to be used as an important tool to communicate and raise awareness of air pollution with visitors and residents across Oxfordshire” – Complete Integration of all relevant AQ info from all Districts; Designed with significant input from members of the public; Inclusion of specific features and interactive tools to promote constant interaction; Provide evidence, information and advice in a simple and accessible manner; Info tailored to different age groups and levels of expertise;
  • DEFRA Air Quality Grant 2020/2021 – To cover: Social User Research Element, Website Development and Website Maintenance (next 9 years);
  • Social User Research – On Survey ‘Public Consultation’; Telephone Semi-Structured Interviews with Consultants, Public health, Schools, Charities/campaigning/community, Councillors/council staff and Residents (low income communities);

  • Social User Research Results (% – Very useful, Quite Useful, Not that useful, Not at all useful) – A map of Oxfordshire with locations where air quality is monitored; Ability to download all relevant air quality data and documents produced by your local authority; Access to historic air quality data, statistics and access to interactive air pollution data and charts; Air pollution forecast tools; Repository with all relevant air quality projects being delivered by the 5 District Councils and Oxfordshire CC; Development of specific tools that promote interaction between users and the platform; Introduction of news feed area with current updates on national and local air quality related news; Access to relevant national and international air quality contents;
  • Air Quality Maps, Post Code search engine & Diffusion tube Index – AQ Index developed taking into account: Legal Limit Values, WHO Guidelines, LAQM TG 22;
  • Free Subscription to Air Quality Alerts for Oxfordshire – The Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) is used to describe and communicate the current and/or forecast levels of air pollution in the UK. It has been approved by the Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollution (COMEAP);
  • Air Quality Forecasts – Example forecasts for Oxfordshire and for individual local authorities: Cherwell, Oxford, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire;
  • Local Area Air Quality Projects – OxAria, Oxfordshire Air Quality Website, Do You Fuel Good? campaign (city wide awareness raising campaign addressing wood burning and use of inappropriate fuels, best practice, how to minimise your exposure etc), Eco-moorings trial for visiting boats;
  • Evaluation and other areas of interest – Total amount of OxonAir users and user views since launch; Other website information tools – Kids area, Personal Air Quality Footprint tool (Clean air hub), Policies and Reports, Data selector tool (diff tubes + automatic data), Pollution Episodes, Air Quality & Health education and advice.

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Greencoat Place Conference Centre, London, for the live in-person event on May 1st, 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 Paul and Pedro’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, environmental managers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public and private transport operators/service providers; sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; freight and logistics operators; airports and port operators; vehicle manufacturers; energy providers; potential partners from industry (e.g. retail, construction, manufacturing and waste management sectors) and healthcare; DfT, Defra, EA, BEIS, DHSC, UKHSA and other supporting national agencies; prime contractors; academia etc.

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EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Classes show key buyer side stakeholders how they can deploy the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies, policies and best practices to improve urban air quality and drive down emissions and air pollution in our cities and regions. EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class 2024 will be hosted in London on May 1st.


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