Equans and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) claim to have radically cut carbon emissions in the region in the past two years by installing 85 free electric vehicle (EV) chargers.
To date, the partnership has enabled drivers to save 2,164 tonnes of CO2 and has dispensed 2.7 million kilowatt hours of green energy – enough to power an EV around the Earth 380 times. West Yorkshire now has the highest number of rapid EV chargers in any county in the UK part from London.
The local authority secured almost £2 million from the government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) in 2019 and Equans was appointed to speed up the provision of EV chargers and encourage drivers in the region to switch from petrol and diesel.
To spur on EV uptake, Equans provided free charging at all charging points for the first two years as a further incentive for residents and business users. The charge points across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield have since provided more than nine million free miles to more than 10,000 drivers.
Equans states that data from the Department for Transport indicates that since the scheme was introduced, the purchase of ultra-low emission vehicles in West Yorkshire has risen by 189 per cent.
For each charging point installed, Equans delivered two bays – one dedicated to taxis and private hire vehicles, and the second for all other users.
Dee Humphries, managing director of EV Solutions at Equands UK & Ireland, said: “We’re committed to improving the lives of people in cities and urban areas by working with local authorities to tackle air pollution. It starts with providing drivers with accessible and reliable charging points, helping to encourage and support more people in choosing a low emission vehicle.
“The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s bold ambition should be a driving force for other local authorities across the country who are looking to protect the health of their residents and work towards a carbon-neutral future.”
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council and chair of West Yorkshire Transport Committee, said: “We’re committed to becoming a net-zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest, and installing electric vehicle charging points is one of the ways we will deliver on that promise.
“We know one of the barriers to people making the switch to an electric car is knowing where they can charge their vehicles and I’m proud that our region has the highest number of rapid charging points outside of London.”
The charging points will be free to use until 29th October, after which the chargers across the region will become part of the GeniePoint network, owned and operated by Equans. The company said it plans to deliver another 15 charging points across West Yorkshire by the end of this month.