Following the announcement that Oxford is to have the most powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging hub in Europe, Quadrant Transport sits down with Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero-Carbon at Oxford City Council to learn more.
In partnership with Pivot Power, Oxford City Council are set to deliver the UK’s largest public EV charging hub by the end of this year. The hub, which will have 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers, will deliver 100 per cent renewable energy to EV drivers.
Speaking to Quadrant Transport about the importance of the new hub, Tom Hayes said: “We know that if we’re going to address our climate crisis we need to electrify more of our transportation.”
Oxford has set ambitious climate goals and is “introducing Britain’s first zero-emission zone later this year,” Tom said.
The hope with the new EV charging hub is that it will encourage people to switch to electric vehicles ahead of the government’s ban on fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2030.
“We know that people need to ditch their fossil-fuelled cars and switch to electric, but for people to think the revolution will be electric they need to have confidence that there will be sufficient chargers in good locations,” said Tom.
By bringing this new hub to Oxford, the city is giving its citizens easy access to EV charging. Along with this, Tom recognises the importance of interoperability in EV charging and “with the new hub, [they’re] going to be able to deliver that.”
Productive partnerships for success
Introducing this new infrastructure, along with their zero-emission zone, is not without its challenges.
“A big challenge is financial, but by setting a vision, having the right people in the right roles in the council and building creative and productive partnerships within the private sector we’ve been able to do a lot more that we would have ordinarily been able to do,” Tom explained.
This productive partnership with Pivot Power has been key to the success of the EV charging hub.
“For the council to work with Pivot Power, it has been absolutely brilliant. It has taught us so much about how you can have shared goals, you can have really easy and open lines of communication and you can work constructively in a very effective project management style. In so doing, you can make something really remarkable happen,” said Tom.
You can make something really remarkable happen
Due to the success of this partnership with the private sector, Tom explained the council will look to forge more partnerships in the future to support their decarbonisation journey.
Rounding up the interview, Tom said, “One of the reasons we’ve had to be so forward-thinking is because we are as a council very ambitious. [..] It really is at the local level where we can help to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport.”