Bristol to see 5,000 EVs per year by 2020

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson is expected to sign up to a package of measures which aims to have 5,000 more electric vehicles (EV) on its roads by 2020.

The four councils across the region have received £7 million from a government grant which aims to lower emissions and improve air quality through increased use of EVs. The package would also involve doubling the number of electric charging points in the area from 200 to 400.

Other measures which will be funded by the grant include: providing at least 50 electric car club bays; converting at least 20-25 per cent of the councils' light vehicle fleet to electric or hybrid power; building four rapid-charging hubs across the region which would allow owners to charge their car in 30 minutes or less; expanding the low-emission freight consolidation scheme which reduces the number of heavy lorries in Bristol's city centre; introducing a pilot ‘clean air’ zone in the city centre; and electric vehicles to get discounted parking, reduced fees for taxi licensing, trial use of a bus lane and car share lanes.

The news comes as a report has been published which advised that EVs could play a pivot role in improving air quality in the region.

It says: "Poor air quality across the city, especially within the inner city area and along main corridors is a recognised issue and a significant number of deaths can be attributed to poor air quality each year.

"The burden of disease and premature deaths is, however, not distributed equally as those living in more deprived areas are exposed to higher levels of pollution - often because of homes built in close proximity to roads with higher pollution concentrations."