Electric vehicles have a significant role to play in securing a greener future on our roads, with the transport sector accounting for 17% of greenhouse gas emissions in Wales. To tackle these emissions, the Welsh Government’s 2021 transport strategy, Llwybr Newydd (New Path), identifies an approach to reducing transport related emissions. Alongside increased public transport usage, walking, and cycling, the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars in favour of electric vehicles is an integral part of the strategy. As of 2020, ownership of EV in Wales was lower than the rest of the UK at only 0.17%. To promote widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EV) – accessible, available, and standardised public charging infrastructure is crucial.
2030 the timeframe of the strategy
>30,000fast chargers needed by 2030
Responding to Wales' charging needs
Predicting what type of charging is needed, how many chargers are necessary and where they should be located, involved a complex set of variables. Our team adapted our industry-leading model based on energy, transport and demographic data to develop bespoke charging behaviour scenarios for different EV users. Using these intelligent modelling processes, we were able to help inform the design of electric vehicle charging networks across Wales.
© Andrew Roberts
Shaping the vision for electric vehicle charging in Wales
To help deliver on Llwybr Newydd, Arup were commissioned by Welsh Government to develop its ‘Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy’ and ‘Action Plan’ – which includes a set of actions required to implement the strategy. The Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy has been created to sit within the context of Llwybr Newydd as a specialist and priority topic area.
Our most recent work is the creation of the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: Welsh National Standards. These standards are aimed at public organisations, providing a common framework that supports the delivery of safe, accessible, and reliable public charging. It was created in response to some of the targets and priorities set out in the EV charging strategy and action plan.
A unified approach to EV charging infrastructure
The creation of the Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy: Welsh National Standards makes Wales one of the first countries to explore a unified and standardised approach to EV charging infrastructure delivery at a national level. These standards aim to help the Welsh Government to achieve its target that, by 2025, all users of electric cars and vans in Wales should be confident that they can access electric vehicle charging infrastructure, when and where they need it.
Our team was guided by engagement with a range of stakeholders including Welsh Government departments, Welsh local authorities, distribution network operators and disabled motoring groups. As a result, the recommendations in the document consider the needs of all stakeholders with an interest in EV charging infrastructure. The aspects covered in the recommendations include: the initial site selection, streetscape design – such as road markings, lighting, and accessibility – the energy and connections process, the operation of infrastructure, and additional guidance – which includes procurement methods and the futureproofing of assets.
Some of the recommendations note that charging infrastructure should be accessible for all users. This means that parking space layout, height and positioning of charging equipment, and charging signage to assist users is appropriate for everyone, including those with physical disabilities or limited mobility. It also states that there should be equal access to charging infrastructure regardless of geographic distribution and that the user experience should be consistent. Users should encounter familiar charging interfaces, procedures, and reliability wherever in the country they are charging their vehicle.
In addition, the guidance advises that infrastructure should be future-proofed meaning features such as layout flexibility and future electrical capacity requirements are considered to enable the network to adapt to future expansion and emerging technologies.
The launch of this strategy represents the first step in delivering a vision for electric vehicle charging that meets the requirements of Wales. The Arup team has partnered with us through the development of the strategy from understanding the current starting point, modelling future requirements and designing outcomes that achieve the vision. Their multi-disciplinary team have impressed us along the way with their technical, planning, modelling and transport decarbonisation expertise. ” David Fisher Senior Manager Business Solutions – Economy, Skills and Natural Resources, Welsh Government
Developing an inclusive strategy
Our team of decarbonisation advisors, data scientists, transport planners, environmental consultants, user experience specialists and economists have worked closely with Welsh Government to create an inclusive and unique approach to EV charging in Wales. The guidance and strategy work that we have delivered will directly impact the uptake of EVs across Wales and subsequently help Wales to achieve its net zero target.