Novuna Vehicle Solutions has found that a £250m a year capital investment fund granted to the nine Metro Mayors is “doing little” to support the UK’s EV transition.
The vehicle leasing firm’s research shows that, despite a mandate to invest the money in open-to-all EV infrastructure projects, only a limited number of chargepoints were installed in 2021 across the nine city regions.
Having looked at publicly disclosed information, it is unclear whether any chargepoints have been funded by the Metro Mayor capital investment fund, said Novuna Vehicle Solutions.
The Metro Mayor position is held by directly elected leaders of the UK’s major city regions.
The Metro Mayor oversees its region’s public service and infrastructure development, which includes transport.
Each Mayor gets a share of a £7.45bn capital investment fund over a 30-year period, equating to £250m for each calendar year.
Additionally, there is a £6.8bn City Regional Sustainable Transport Settlement that the Mayors can bid for to fund de-carbonising transport initiatives. But again, there is no evidence that this fund, due to be shared from 2022-2027 between the Mayors, is being put towards EV infrastructure.
Novuna Vehicle Solutions research involved comparing the funds allocated to each city region in their respective devolution deals with the number of publicly funded EV chargers installed last year in each city.
It analysed the official Statement of Accounts of the Metro Mayors and their Combined Authorities.
Findings reveal that West Yorkshire was the only city region to explicitly reference expenditure on charging points in its accounts. This region installed 88 EV chargepoints as part of a £3.2m ULEV taxi scheme.
In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, there is just one £90,000 EV-related scheme to install 4 rapid EV chargers for the local taxi trade.
And in Greater Manchester’s Statement of Accounts, which has one of the highest allocated investment funds (£900m), there is no mention of any EV infrastructure projects.
“The Metro Mayors were installed with the clear goal of boosting the economic and infrastructural development of strategically important regions across the UK,” said Robert Gordon, chief executive of Novuna.
“There are understandably a number of competing priorities, however, if the Government hopes to fulfill its headline pledge to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, a top priority for city transport projects needs to be upgrading regional EV infrastructure. As it stands, we see very little evidence that this is happening at the pace required.”
These revelations come hot on the heels of Connected Kerb’s report, which stresses that the UK’s EV charging rollout is not moving fast enough.