Today I approved Wokingham Borough Council’s response to the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) consultation on Ending the Sale of New Petrol, Diesel and Hybrid Cars and Vans by 2035.
Having considered the impact that this OLEV consultation would have on our Borough and specifically on our Climate Emergency, knowing that 30% of our Borough’s Carbon Footprint comes from transport, our response can be summarised as follows;

  • The Council supports the ambition of bringing the phase-out date forward to 2035, and ideally earlier, 2030, provided the necessary infrastructure can be in place.
  • We stress that more progress is required on electric and alternative public transport options and investment be made into other innovative technologies to help further reduce emissions.
  • We believe that work needs to be undertaken that ensures minimal impact on less affluent communities, affected businesses and to reduce strain on our energy infrastructure building the necessary EV charging infrastructure. We must ensure that no-one is priced out of adopting electric vehicles. 
  • We ask that sales of new motorcycles, which also use petrol, be phased out as part of this plan as well.
  • We call for the Government to provide the necessary financial support required to build the EV charging network and ensure that councils benefit from its revenue.
  • We call for clear and widespread communications to ensure a seamless changeover, and to ensure that businesses in particular plan ahead for the change.
  • We call on the Government to legislate to ensure supplies of both petrol and diesel to ensure that those who continue to run petrol or diesel vehicles, including classic cars, are not disadvantaged.

As a council, in anticipation of this change over we

  • Have Set up an EV working group to begin feasibility work on the required changes necessary across our Borough.
  • Are drafting a Wokingham Borough Council EV Strategy
  • Are carrying out feasibility studies for four Solar Farms to ensure our EV grid (among other things) has suitable energy supply.
  • And are already carrying out small scale solar PV installations across our property estate.

As Executive Member I have approved this decision and requested we submit our views to the Office of Low Emissions Vehicles.

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