Who holds the responsibility?
We were delighted to host another successful forum on 3rd July, this time in the Midlands region, in collaboration with East Midlands Councils. Whilst we followed similar discussions as at our previous forums, we additionally reflected on where the responsibility lies, and who can make the necessary changes to remove the barriers to widespread electric vehicle (EV) uptake.
ELECTRIC BLUE THANK YOU
A huge thank you to our fantastic key speakers - we were once again joined by Sukky Choongh-Campbell from SMMT, Marcus Helliwell from IKEA, and Sam Harrison, representing JAQU and Defra, who managed to join us via Skype!
A special thank you is extended to Paul Clarke of Green Car Guide, who honoured us with a superb presentation at the last-minute.
And just to demonstrate how we do indeed practice what we preach - all six of the attending Electric Blue staff arrived at the forum in 100% EVs. Five of us journeyed up from the Head Office in Harpenden in a single 40kWh Nissan Leaf. Sharing the journey between us meant that travel costs came to a grand total of 93p per person (£4.65 home electricity), saving a fantastic 56kg of emissions!
Our workshops received wonderful engagement from all attendees, highlighting the enthusiasm for learning and sharing, and the necessity of opportunities such as these. A key takeaway from this forum is that the EV issue has shot up the rankings, with local authorities taking clean air solutions seriously, and the wider community really taking an interest. This is our goal - and the more people we can reach, the wider our EV message can spread.
Needing help with EV strategy was a prominent factor for many attendees, who were assured that this assistance forms a part of our full fleet of EV services. Our Products and Services page has further details of how you can tailor-make your EV journey.
We tried a new activity in our Challenges roundtable. On discussing the various barriers to EV uptake, we additionally asked participants to identify those which are directly related, or influenced by, local authorities. Interestingly, whilst local authorities share the opinion that they do not hold responsibility to these common barriers, our roundtable discussion determined that over 60% could, in fact, be influenced by them. Leading us to which conclusion? That local authorities have the power to directly drive EV uptake by removing or resolving those barriers.
Paul Clarke led us through a knowledgeable presentation highlighting the importance of effective communication across all EV campaigns, especially to counteract outdated thinking and biased reporting.
“We need to counter such perceptions with more effective communication about ULEVs.”
As Paul later emphasized, “businesses, the main EV buyers, have one key aim with fleets: saving money.” So, should we also be seeing more joined-up government policies to encourage EV uptake?
In our Future Innovations roundtable, the discussions focused around the potential for faster charging as well as wireless charging - all very interesting ideas. However, the main takeaway was the opinion that the electric revolution is not being held back by a lack of technology; in fact, we have most of the solutions available right now. We agreed that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution (and there probably won’t ever be), but we could electrify most of the journeys that we currently make, with the technology available to us today.
DRIVING INTO AN EV FUTURE
EVents and forums such as these allow our Electric Blue team to continue engaging with those who truly matter in the journey to an emission-free future. This Midlands forum had huge interest, with an audience of 54 - resulting in encouraging conversations and growing commitment to sustainable transport options.
Sukky Choongh-Campbell highlighted the trends in the motoring and transport industry, showing where improvements have been made, although not at the most pressing rates! Her key points? Making EVs the new normal. Adopting EVs not only as car replacements, but for mobility services and solutions. Not only selling a service, but building business models which
“wrap around technologically advanced products.”
The overall feedback we have received from this forum has been overwhelmingly positive, and demonstrative of the increasing interest in EVs as a viable solution to the air pollution crisis. Attendees have told us that this forum is informative and worthwhile, offering a unique opportunity to hear from industry experts, and discuss the possible future for individual EV needs, as well as national plans.
ELECTRIC BLUE FORUMS - COMING SOON TO A CITY NEAR YOU!
If you have not yet managed to attend one of our forums, never fear! Keep a lookout for our future forums; we are planning to be in the Merseyside/Cheshire/North Wales region in late 2019.
If you’d like to find out more about these events, have any queries, or require assistance with your EV journey, get in touch with our team today.