Cities embracing sustainable transport

Team Egg | 31/10/2021

Take a look at how UK cities are embracing sustainable transport and discover some exciting projects we have been a part of here at team Egg

At a Glance

Days like World Cities Day encourage innovation and experimentation. In times like these, that’s what we need!

This World Cities Day, we’re revisiting some exciting projects we've worked on across the UK

World Cities Day encourages discussion between countries about the challenges of urbanisation, to put the spotlight on and accelerate sustainable urban development all over the world. 

In 2021, World Cities Day was all about Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience. As more city residents than before experience floods, storms and extreme temperatures, it’s super important for the powers that be to start preparing more resilient cities.

According to UN Habitat, despite making up less than 2% of the Earth’s surface, cities consume 78% of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. Crazy, right? So, in order to slash emissions and slow down global warming, we need to make a dent in the huge impact cities have on our environment.

Days like World Cities Day encourage cities to innovate and experiment. In times like these, that’s what we need! We’re hugely passionate about this at Egg. With over a decade’s experience in sustainable energy under our belt, we improve our industry by educating and empowering our customers, and sharing our knowledge to make the world around us that little bit better.

This World Cities Day, we’re looking at the UK cities embracing sustainable transport.

Electrifying public transport

At the end of 2021, journeys by local bus passengers were up to 1.98 billion - despite a 38% decrease in 2020 due to COVID-19. In fact, travelling by bus is the UK’s most popular way to travel on public transport. Right now, most of our UK buses are diesel or petrol vehicles. With so many travellers choosing the bus, switching to electric buses would not only have a positive effect on our air quality, but also our communities, with reduced traffic noise and smell of fumes.

The UK is set to have the largest electric bus fleet in Europe by 2024. Just 200 electric buses offset 3,700 diesel cars, saving around 7,400 tonnes of CO2 every year. The number of electric buses is projected to grow by up to 180%, from approximately 1,000 to 2,800 vehicles - that’s a significant reduction in emissions.

Back in 2015, City of York Council introduced one of the largest zero-emission bus services in the UK. Egg was brought in to design and install the charging infrastructure required to provide a reliable and sustainable service to the city. The electrification of their city bus routes has seen an estimated reduction of 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 each year. That’s more clean energy, cracked.

Meeting the needs of EV drivers

2020 saw the biggest annual increase of electric vehicles (EVs) registered in the UK - a whopping growth of 66% on 2019. By 2025 it’s estimated that half of new car registrations will be EVs. And you know what that means; demand for EV charging facilities in towns and cities will be growing.

Councils across the country are working hard to get the charging infrastructure in place to support current EV drivers, and importantly encourage more drivers to make the switch to an EV. Using the data gathered from Zap-map, we’re looking at which of the UK’s largest cities are best prepared for the EV revolution.

More chargers, less emissions

Swindon Borough Council teamed up with Egg to provide EV charging stations for their employees and the public. The new charging points were part of the council’s goals to help the UK meet its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It was also a massive step in modernising the town’s infrastructure to support a growing, low carbon economy.

“We know that switching to electric vehicles is a massive change for people and we want to make it easy for them to own and run these sorts of cars, and these new charging points are a brilliant way of achieving that.” MAYOR OF SWINDON, CLLR KEVIN PARRY

News flash - adding electric vehicle charge points to built-up areas isn’t always straight forward. There’s plenty of things to think about; ensuring chargers are in convenient parking spots and not blocking pavements are just two of them!

This year, Egg teamed up with Urban Foresight in partnership with Plymouth City Council to trial innovative pop-up electric vehicle chargers. Built into the ground and only rising up when in use, the chargers provide a safe, discreet, attractive and low-cost solution for electric vehicle drivers. The UEOne charge points are designed for that sweet convenient kerbside parking.

Taxi transport and electric cars

Since 2005, the number of taxis and private hire vehicles on the road in the UK has increased by nearly 90%. We’re guessing the likes of Uber have a little something to do with this. Low emission zones in cities have meant more taxis have made the switch to EVs. Who wants to pay increasing green zone charges, when electric cars make it so easy to be green?

In 2020, Egg took to Sheffield to install 18 new rapid chargers. We were there to support Sheffield City Council’s clean air strategy and drive down air pollution in the city. Nine of the charge points are reserved purely for taxis so they always have a place to charge. The fastest chargers will fill a battery to 80% in 45 minutes, meaning drivers waste as little time as possible in their busy day.

Where can we go from here?

Making the switch to EVs is a big step to making positive change and reducing emissions, but we need to think about the sustainability of the energy used to charge these vehicles too. Putting renewable energy solutions in place in urban infrastructure is a vital piece of the puzzle for cities who want to adapt for climate resilience.

The UK’s first solar powered Park and Ride site opened in Leeds in September 2021. This will have a huge impact: a reduction of 471 tonnes of carbon each year! This is the equivalent of taking 203 cars off the road. Powered entirely by solar panels and a battery storage system, the project is creating a smart energy grid on site using sustainable technology.

Every day, Team Egg supports our customers as they transition to sustainable energy. World Cities Day is a reminder every year to highlight the positive steps we’re all taking to create better, healthier places to live and work.

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