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Practical, joined-up support essential for EV take-up, finds Nottingham ULEV Experience

Practical – and critically, strategically-planned and joined-up – support is needed to help businesses make the shift to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in the face of legislation and initiatives such as imminent Clean Air Zones.

The programme’s summary report has been published to help other cities around the UK benefit from the lessons learnt and implement their own solutions to address air quality challenges

That’s one of the key findings of the two-year Nottingham ULEV Experience, which was run to help Nottingham-based organisations to understand, trial and implement ULEVs.

Carried out from April 2018 to March 2020, the campaign focused on three areas: Fleet reviews, delivered by Cenex and the Energy Saving Trust; low-emission vehicle loans, delivered by DriveElectric; and business engagement and events, provided by CleanTech Business and RideWise.

The programme, which was supported by Nottingham City Council’s Go Ultra Low City funding and delivered through the Workplace Travel Service and a consortium led by Cenex, has now released a summary report about some of the lessons learnt in the hope that other cities around the UK will benefit from this knowledge and implement their own solutions to address air quality challenges.

Key findings – revealed in further detail in the report – include that different businesses are at different stages of the ULEV journey and engagement with them needs to take this into account.

The programme also found that targeting businesses requires effective marketing and communication but also a range of events; ‘try before you buy’ loans are also extremely valuable, especially in conjunction with fleet reviews.

In total, the programme delivered a total of 23 events alongside 34 fleet reviews – which reviewed 4,385 vehicles and identified 673 replacement ULEVs. It also carried out 75 low-emission vehicle loans and £600,000 of Workplace Travel grants, supporting 60 businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations to install both electric vehicle charging points and active travel infrastructure.

Councillor Sally Longford, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council and Portfolio Holder Energy, Environment and Democratic Services, said: “By encouraging and supporting local businesses and organisations to make the switch to ULEVs and more sustainable transport, it is hoped that it will help reduce carbon and nitrogen dioxide impacts which transport can significantly contribute to. This can not only improve air quality but will also support Nottingham City Council’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2028.”

To download the ULEV Experience ‘What We’ve Learnt’ report, visit www.ulevexperience.co.uk

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.