Neath Port Talbot councillors have approved plans for an electric vehicle charging infrastructure for council fleet vehicles, pool and staff cars paving the way for zero-emission transport in the county borough.
Members of Neath Port Talbot Council’s Streetscene and Engineering Cabinet Board have backed plans to develop an EV ‘Charging Park’ at the council’s premises in The Quays, at the Baglan Energy Park, to support the council’s transition from carbon based fuels to zero emission vehicles.
The Charging Park, which will be in the existing staff car park at The Quays, will come with Photovoltaic (PV) solar canopies which will not only contribute to the energy costs but will further enhance the council’s green identity.
The UK Government has announced an end to the sale of new diesel, petrol cars and vans from 2030. Hybrid vehicles will continue to be on sale, however, from 2035, the sale of new hybrid vehicles will also end and all new cars and vans sold in the UK will be zero emission vehicles.
Also, the Welsh Government wants all new cars and light goods vehicles in the Public Sector fleet to be ultra-low emission by 2025 and where practicably possible, all heavy goods vehicles are to be ultra-low emission by 2030.
The Welsh Government Energy Service (WGES) has worked with the council to develop a plan identifying vehicles that will need to be replaced with zero emission vehicles. The council has 58 cars and light vans along with 24 medium vans that are scheduled to be replaced by 2025. It is therefore essential infrastructure is in place to charge these vehicles as they come on-line.
Members were told this was “only the start of the journey” because as the council’s fleet transition from carbon based fuels continues, other locations will also need to be identified to support the charging of vehicles.
The council has already installed a limited number of charge points at Tregelles Court, Tawe Terrace and Port Talbot Civic Centre with a further charge point at Llansawel Place for the Library Service. These new units complement the two twin point charging units already located at the council’s Service Response Centre (SRC) at The Quays. This brings the total to twelve EV charging points for fleet vehicles at various locations within the county borough so far.
Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development said:
“The move to zero emission transport is in line with this council’s Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy Strategy (DARE) which sets out how the council will lead by example and reduce its own carbon footprint when carrying out its operations and functions.
“It also sets a proactive agenda for the council in its role as community leader, landowner, employer, regulatory body and service provider so we can work in partnership with other public and private sector organisations as well as joining forces with local residents to deliver the changes required for a cleaner, greener future.”