Agenda item

Fleet Electrification


That the Committee notes the content of the report and supports the ambition of the Council to introduce low emission vehicles across the Council’s operational vehicle fleet.


The Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation)  introduced a report to consider the proposals for fleet electrification.  He provided background information and advised that the report sets out the ambition of the service and identified the various projects being progressed to introduce low emission vehicles within the fleet and the development of infrastructure to support that uptake. 


Referring to the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the County the Chief Officer reported that the Council was working closely with the Welsh Government to explore the benefits of adopting a regional and national approach to ensure consistency for users of the EV charging network in Wales.  He advised that an initial 17 sites for installation of  fast charging points had been identified across the County which could be used by the general public. 


Councillors Owen Thomas and  Dennis Hutchinson asked questions around how electric vehicles would be charged, the arrangements for  charging electric vehicles if kept at an employee’s home address, and off-street parking restrictions.   The Chief Officer explained that it was intended that charging points would be available in depots and said when employees were on duty out-of-hours  charging points would be provided around the County.  He advised that  discussions would be held with Trade Union representatives regarding how  to facilitate charging points at an employee’s home address.  The Chief Officer invited the  Highway Network Manager to present the report.


The  Highway Network Manager reported that the domestic and commercial demand for EV was increasing and commented on the significant developments in  technology.  The opportunities  for front-line services was being explored and cited buses, refuse collection vehicles, and road sweepers, as examples and the infrastructure to support this was being investigated.  He reported that the Council had also engaged with its Fleet contractor to review the usage and journeys of its own vehicle fleet to identify optimum locations for ‘charging hubs’ to support service delivery.  The contractor was reviewing the tracking data to identify vehicles and journeys that are best suited to electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure required to support vehicle movements in daily use by individual services.  He also commented on the need to consider the capacity of the local grid to support such growth (specifically at certain times of the day). 


The  Highway Network Manager advised that the Council was in discussion with its current Fleet supplier concerning the expiry of the existing contract in 2023.  The  aspirations of the Council and the supplier were being discussed  to ensure that every aspect of new technologies was considered and built into any possible extension to the contract to meet the change in procurement that a move to an EV fleet would entail. 


The  Highway Network Manager reported that following a successful bid WG funding had been secured to introduce a limited number of EV charging points at the Standard Yard site, Buckley.  He explained that future expansion of the site would offer an opportunity for the Council to develop a ‘Sustainable Transport Hub’ on site which would support the move to an all-electric fleet powered by a ‘home grown’ source of renewable energy.  The  Highway Network Manager reported on developments around operating electric buses on the County bus network, the suitability of electrical powered waste vehicles, and opportunities to work with the Council’s existing forecourt fuel provider to look at innovative new billing models. 


The Chief Officer reported on progress on the Council’s Hydrogen Fuel aspirations and explained that with Welsh Government support the Council had commissioned consultants to develop a Strategic Outline Business Case for a potential Hydrogen Hub on Deeside Industrial Park.  The commission would  consider hydrogen production and storage at the facility with capacity to provide fuel to both the Council, Deeside Industrial Park, other North Wales Councils,  private vehicles and LGVs using the North Wales coast road.  He suggested that this may be an item that the Committee would wish to add to the FWP


Councillor Chris Dolphin read out a message of support from Councillor Tudor Jones for the Council’s ambitions regarding hydrogen which were detailed in the report. 


Councillor Vicky Perfect asked if consideration had been given to providing charging points for EV for people who wished to visit Flint Castle and the coastal path.  The Chief Officer responded that the areas referred to by Councillor Perfect would be considered for inclusion  in the next phase for introducing charging points in the County.


Councillor Owen Thomas expressed concerns around how charging points would be monitored to prevent people parking vehicles for longer than necessary.  The Chief Officer explained that one of the options to be considered was to make the spaces dedicated to charging vehicles short-stay spaces (2 hours maximum).


Councillor Carolyn Thomas spoke in support of the initiatives and schemes being progressed as detailed in the report and thanked the Chief Officer and his team for their work and commitment.


The recommendation in the report was moved by Councillor Sean Bibby  and seconded by Councillor Chris Dolphin.




That the Committee notes the content of the report and supports the ambition of the Council to introduce low emission vehicles across the Council’s operational vehicle fleet.

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