Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is ‘charging ahead’ with its Electric Vehicle Strategy as it plays its part in helping reduce its carbon footprint in the global fight against climate change.
Working towards its goal of becoming a Carbon Neutral Council and County Borough by 2030, the Council is helping shape the future development of Electric Vehicle Charging across the County Borough by introducing more charging points.
It is also encouraging residents and businesses to convert to electric vehicles following public consultation as part of its Climate Conversation – “Let’s Talk Climate Change RCT”.
The Council’s EV Charging Strategy was presented to the Council’s Cabinet. It sets out why action is urgently needed and the Council’s County Borough-wide approach to tackling climate change.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Communities, said: “I am delighted that the Council’s Electric Vehicle Strategy is being published, highlighting the Council’s total commitment to becoming a Net Zero Council and a Carbon Neutral County Borough by 2030.
“We can only do this by all playing our part in reducing the carbon footprint. No matter how big or small, we can all make a difference and help protect our planet for future generations.
“This Council is committed to supporting its residents, businesses and visitors to the County Borough by providing adequate EV charging facilities as they go about their daily lives. Together we can make this happen.”
The Strategy will also encourage the development of a robust and practical electric vehicle charging (EVC) network in the short, medium, and long term, whilst also fostering a transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEVs) as part of the Council’s wider sustainable transport goals.
The use of electric vehicles is increasing year-on-year and it is important that the Council is able to assess the future demand for EV charging infrastructure within Rhondda Cynon Taf. Future projections indicate that around 8,000 electric vehicles will be owned by residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf by 2030.
In a detailed report submitted to the Council’s Climate Change Steering Group (CCSG), it outlines how the Council is working towards its goal of making it a Net-Zero Local Authority, as well as reaffirming its carbon reduction commitments.
The Council established its Electric Vehicle Charging and Transportation Working Group in April 2021, comprising of Officers from across all Council service areas led by the Council’s Corporate Estates Energy and Carbon Reduction Team.
The initial task of the group was to produce two crucial pieces of work deemed fundamental to the development of an electric vehicle charging infrastructure within the County Borough.
The development of a Strategy to cover the future of Electric Vehicle Charging, highlighting the aspirations of the Council and potential funding opportunities available, and an Implementation Plan, which will provide clear guidance and advice on the requirements needed for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the County Borough.
Additionally, the Council continues to work with the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) and its Cardiff Capital Region Transport Authority (CCRTA), which has purchased 70 Electric Taxis across the region, with five allocated to Rhondda Cynon Taf, with a management company appointed to operate the vehicles and the required charging infrastructure.
The CCRTA is already involved in the process of installing taxi charging points across RCT, with the first having already been installed at Porth Park & Ride, Duke Street Car Park, Aberdare and Sardis Road Car Park, Pontypridd. It is hoped that these charging points will soon be operational.
Furthermore, the CCRTA is also working with the Council on a proposal to install a range of 7kw to 22kw fast charging points at approximately 30 Council sites, mainly within public car parks, but also at some Council leisure centres and community centres.
The Council’s EV Charging Strategy sets out 10 clear ambitions, including the roll-out of its EV Charging infrastructure, aligned to future demand; working with private landowners and developers to ensure EV charge point opportunities are identified and pursued; monitoring air quality to evaluate the relationship between increased EV uptake and improved air quality; and identifying suitable locations for potential ‘Destination Charging’ sites and ‘Workplace Charging’ across all Council sites.
The Council will also continue to work with residents to raise awareness of this important issue, whilst exploring opportunities to establish EV Car Clubs across the County Borough.