Over the past two years, EQUANS – the recently rebranded name of ENGIE’s services led activities – has installed 85 free-to-use electric vehicle (EV) chargers in West Yorkshire.
The aim was to encourage EV drivers in the region to make the switch to an EV, with West Yorkshire Combined Authority securing almost £2 million from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) in 2019.
EQUANS is now on track to deliver a further 15 charging points across West Yorkshire by 29 October.
Recent data from the Department for Transport suggests that since this scheme was introduced, the purchase of ultra-low emission vehicles in West Yorkshire has risen by 189%. This suggests the scheme has contributed to raising awareness of low emission vehicles and promoted purchase, EQUANS said.
The region also now has the most rapid EV chargers of any county, excluding London.
For every chargepoint installed, EQUANS delivered two bays, one of which was specifically for taxis and private hire vehicles and the other of which was for all users.
Across the West Yorkshire region, it’s estimated there are 500 taxi and private hire vehicles, and it’s hoped that the designated bays alongside the growing network of chargers across the wider area will eventually motivate all taxi drivers to make the switch.
The EQUANS chargepoints – which are located across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield – have provided over nine million free miles to over 10,000 registered drivers, with 2.7 million kilowatt hours of green energy used.
The chargepoints are to continue to be free until 29 October 2021, after which they will become part of the GeniePoint network and will continue to be owned and operated by EQUANS.
Dee Humphries, managing director of EV Solutions at EQUANS UK & Ireland, said the company is committed to improving the lives of those in urban areas by working with local authorities to tackle air pollution.
“It starts with providing drivers with accessible and reliable charging points, helping to encourage and support more people in choosing a low emission vehicle,” she said.
Current± recently caught up with Humphries following the company securing a deal with NatWest to supply, commission and operate a network of chargers.