Electric vehicles take centre stage in County Durham

Electric vehicles, their many benefits and the importance of introducing more charging points were the focus of a special showcase event in County Durham.

Rev Up the North – Electric Vehicle Charging in the North took place at Durham Town Hall and provided an opportunity for people and businesses interested in switching to an electric vehicle to view a selection of the latest models.

Drivers could also pose questions to a team of experts, including representatives from Durham County Council’s electric vehicle and climate change teams.

The event also offered a chance for organisations working to promote green transport to discuss ways to improve electric vehicle infrastructure in the region. A series of in-person and online workshops were delivered by organisations including the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, Innovate UK and Northern Powergrid, covering topics ranging from charging challenges to lessons learnt across Europe.

Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, attended the event and issued a rallying cry to those present to continue to promote sustainable travel.

He said: “Climate change affects us all and is one of the greatest and most pressing global challenges we face. It’s important we all look for ways to reduce our carbon emissions and switching to greener methods of travel, such as walking, cycling, public transport or electric vehicles, is an effective way to do this.

“We know there is a growing appetite for electric vehicles, as more and more people discover the environmental and financial benefits. The government has also pledged that no new petrol or diesel cars or vans will be sold from 2030 onwards. That’s why it’s imperative we have the charging infrastructure in place to support electric vehicles.

“Rev Up the North was a fantastic event, as it brought some of the key partners involved together to discuss the way forward.”

Durham County Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and the local authority’s Climate Emergency Response Plan sets out how it will reduce its own emissions and support the county to become carbon neutral by 2050.

As well as extending its fleet of electric vehicles, the council is working with public and private sector organisations to oversee the installation of charging points across the county.

To find out more, visit www.durham.gov.uk/electricvehicles