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Many motoring journalists have dubbed 2022 as “the year of the electric car” after sales increased by 76 per cent last year with even higher growth expected in 2022.

Amid the growing threat of climate change and fuel price rises, a move to an electric vehicle (EV) is now a very high priority for many consumers and businesses, boosted by a series of affordable new and used models combined with attractive grants.

Stevenage Borough Council’s Climate Change Strategy has targets to reduce carbon emissions to become net zero by 2030. As part of this strategy, Stevenage Borough Council itself is set to make a transition to an all-electric fleet.

In 2030 there will be a national ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. As a council, we are therefore keen to help residents and businesses to use EVs as a more environmentally-sustainable alternative to fossil-fuelled cars and vehicles.

There have been major improvements in EV technology in recent years. Current models are now much closer to traditional vehicles in terms of driving range, reliability and driver comfort.

As an alternative to petrol or diesel vehicles, switching to an EV offers:

  • very low carbon emissions
  • improved air quality by reducing emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulates
  • no noise pollution
  • low servicing costs with very few mechanical parts to replace or fail
  • cheaper running costs (many are VED-exempt)
  • more affordable purchase costs through government grants
  • greater choice of charge point locations as numbers continue to increase

Analysts at YESSS Electrical have compared the cost per mile of charging an electric car to fuelling a new petrol or diesel car, based on current pump/energy prices. The research found that an EV driver could reduce their annual fuel spend by up to 70 per cent by moving to electric vehicles and save up to £627.84 per year in fuel costs.

As a council, we understand that a broad, accessible and efficient charging infrastructure is vital in enabling the rapid adoption of electric vehicles in Stevenage. We are working with partners to develop a network of further electric vehicle charging points across neighbourhood centres that will enable those without driveways and visitors to access charging day to day. We will shortly announce a survey where you can give your views on proposed locations for this infrastructure.

A majority of EV drivers will still charge their vehicles at home or their workplace. Grants are available for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at home and workplaces.

And remember, it’s not all about cars; you can also join the EV revolution with an electric bike or motorcycle which may be more practical for shorter journeys and charging at home without the need for an external charger. Both are also great ways to help Stevenage to get to net zero.

Councillor John Gardner, Executive member for Environment and Regeneration said: “A switch to electric vehicles is a major part of how we will make the transition to net zero emissions in Stevenage by 2030. This includes the vehicle fleet of our council, local taxi operators and we will also support your adoption of this change by improving the EV charging infrastructure across the town.

The benefits of making this switch will mean cleaner air and a significant step forward in Stevenage playing its part in the battle against climate change.”

If you are looking to move to an EV now or already have one, a list of where you can charge in Stevenage can be found on the council's Electric Vehicle Charge Points page.