Low emission transport for the city

A new pilot scheme is being proposed to increase the number of vehicle electrical charging points in the Welsh Capital.

This proposal is part of a report which will be debated by Cardiff Council's Cabinet which includes a range of measures for Cardiff to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels to improve the environment.

An action plan has been produced outlining the priorities for the Council to deliver this aim and this will be discussed by Cardiff Council's Cabinet at its meeting on April 19th.

Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Michael Michael said: "There are a number of different ways we can make Cardiff a greener city and this report is looking specifically at transport and the need to move towards renewable fuels to reduce both the city's carbon emissions and the levels of nitrogen dioxide.

"All of this is linked with the recently launched Transport & Clean Air Green Paper which asks the public on their views on a variety of issues to improve air quality and reduce congestion in the city.

"The Council has a statutory duty to reduce carbon emissions in Cardiff and transport significantly contributes to the problem. In the UK, emissions from transport contribute 24% of the total carbon emissions that are generated.

"Although we do not manage public transport in the city, we do have considerable influence and as a local authority we can act as a ‘catalyst for change'. There are a number of things that need to change to achieve our goals.

"Firstly, we need to ensure that our own fleet of vehicles are not reliant on petrol or diesel engines and we have set an aspiration that we would like to deliver this for our small fleet of vehicles by 2022, with the Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV's) converted to an alternative fuel by 2030.

"Electric vehicles are the most cost effective option for small vehicles, pool cars and our smaller white vans, provided that adequate charging points are in place. There are fewer low emission options for heavier vehicles but research on the options available, including the use of hydrogen, is progressing quickly.

The other actions that have been identified to bring about a step change of moving away from fossil fuels towards alternative fuels are:

        Deliver a study to understand the demand and locations for electrical charging infrastructure in Cardiff and apply for grant funding and opportunities with the private sector to deliver electrical charging facilities in Cardiff.

        Work with Cardiff Bus to identify funding sources for opportunities for buses to use alternative fuels and develop a long term strategy by 2019;

        Work with the local taxi community so they understand the opportunities of moving away from petrol and diesel engines towards hybrid or electrical vehicles. A draft regulatory strategy including the Council's approach to procuring taxi services will be written in 2019;

        To work with the Local Service Board to ensure that tackling air quality issues becomes a collective action between all of the partners in Cardiff;

        Work with the Welsh Government and universities to continue to explore local sources of hydrogen and other bio-gas fuels in Autumn/Winter 2018;

        Explore Vehicle-to-Grid projects which will be based on the roll out of electric charging infrastructure from spring 2019;

        Develop a business case in the summer of 2019 for an electrical vehicle charging hub linked to the Lamby Way solar farm;

        Encourage suppliers and contractors to make a commitment to reduce emissions as part of the tender process for suitable contracts by autumn/winter 2018.

Councillor Michael continued: "Since 2014, progress has been made through reducing carbon emissions from our own fleet by 10%. To support this step change away from petrol and diesel engines, the number of electric charging points has to be increased considerably, both at council sites and in public or communal car parks.

"As a Council we are able influence through our tendering process to encourage our suppliers to make a commitment to reduce emissions and we can build these requirements into the contracts that we offer.

"In terms of planning permission for developments, supplementary planning guidance will also be discussed by Cabinet to increase the opportunity for developers to include electric charging points at residential properties at proposed developments."

The Cabinet will be asked to approve the actions and the target dates and details that are set out in the report and allow officers to bid for grant funding to ensure that both the charging and refuelling infrastructure is in place to support the uptake in low emission vehicles.