The ULEV revolution transforming transport in our region

City Deal Projects

There are four letters driving transport’s race to net zero decarbonisation – and those four letters are ULEV.

It stands for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles and it spells out the future of road transport for everyone in our country – with Cardiff Capital Region playing an invaluable role, in a ULEV revolution that will transform travel as we know it. 

We spoke to members of the CCR Infrastructure team to find out how CCR is bringing about this transformation – and how the journey ahead will reduce emissions while making us a more connected region along the way … 

The CCR ULEV programme: a foundation stone for a decarbonised economy

“Most of the ULEVs on the roads of South East Wales use ‘alternative fuels’ such as electricity and hydrogen to drive an electric motor – with electric cars charging their batteries by plugging into dedicated charge points” explains Rob O’Dwyer, CCR’s Head of Infrastructure. 

“CCR’s ULEV programme is creating the infrastructure that will support and power those vehicles to be a catalyst for decarbonisation and green transformation – while making sure we offer more opportunities to ‘connect’ for everyone who lives and works in our region. 

“It’s a programme created in collaboration with the Welsh and UK Governments – together with the 10 Local Authorities within the CCR – to build a cutting-edge and easily accessible ULEV infrastructure that will be a key foundation stone for an electric-vehicle-driven society and decarbonised economy.

“We’re keen to provide as many incentives as we can for the early take up of ULEVs – for people of all backgrounds and in every community across our region – through a widespread ULEV Public Use Charging Infrastructure, as well as initiatives that include a Taxi ULEV ‘Try Before You Buy’ Scheme.  

“The potential impact of each initiative and intervention is huge. There were 5,960,752,774.40 miles driven in the CCR in 2021, with just 1.06% out of a total of 889,476 vehicles registered as ‘ ULEV’ – and 0.67% of vehicles registered as ‘fully electric’.

“So moving the dial towards ULEV by even a few percentage points will bring a massive reduction in CO2 emissions and a major step forward in decarbonisation across Wales’ most populous region.”    

A joined-up strategy for a region-wide solution …

“The CCR ULEV programme has established a region-wide solution” says Clare Cameron, Transport & Energy Manager for the CCR Infrastructure team, “and that will make a critical difference to the rate of ULEV uptake across South East Wales.

”The fact that we have a universal tariff and a set of consistent operational procedures across all ten CCR local authorities, means we have a joined-up approach that can deliver region-wide benefits.

“That has enabled us to put in place the most efficient and measurable net zero transport programme – across an area that generates 50% of the economic output of Wales, and is home to nearly half the Welsh population.   

“This joined-up strategy and integrated action includes our pioneering Taxi ULEV infrastructure and ULEV Taxi ‘Try Before You Buy’ Scheme, our Public Use ULEV Structure, and innovative ULEV Delivery Partner initiatives.  

“Beyond all that, our programme also includes an opportunity to harness the benefits of an ECar Club capable of supporting a Regional Electric Car Scheme. This would reduce CO2 emissions as well as the need for ‘second cars’ in families – helping drive the transition to ULEV vehicles by offering the opportunity to trial electric vehicles, and ensuring affordable transport is accessible to all users.” 

A ULEV journey that’s gathering pace …

“Every week shows that the programme is driving a greater level of ULEV uptake across our region” says Charlotte Davidson, Energy Officer with the CCR Infrastructure Team.

“The ULEV Taxi Infrastructure is delivered, managed and maintained under contract with Swarco, providing 34 chargers at 31 sites throughout South East Wales – and since the first charger became operational in October 2021, there have been a total of 4068 sessions, with the data showing that a Total Consumption of 78,901.45 kWh, which equates to the equivalent of 231,181 miles, delivering CO2 Savings of 44.6 tonnes.

“That’s the equivalent of having an extra 268 trees contributing to the clean air of our region – and because we have an agreed profit share scheme, it also generates an immediate evergreen return on investment to CCR.

“The three-year Pilot Project to provide ULEV Taxis through a ‘Try Before You Buy Scheme’ is also delivering results. It’s funded the purchase of 44 electric, wheelchair-accessible vehicles – and the response from drivers has been extremely positive, with reports that the public are happy to have the ULEV taxi option.

“Our ULEV Public Use Charging Infrastructure has also proven very successful – with Connected Kerb contracted to deliver, maintain and manage an infrastructure that’s grown quickly from the previous single figures.

“The progress made means we now have 261 dual chargers with 522 sockets across 212 sites – with the further advantage of being integral to the Metro Plus schemes in locations that include Barry Docks Interchange, Pontypool & New Inn and Severn Tunnel Junction.

“The roll-out has also created 25 jobs so far – and gives a glimpse into how our ULEV programme is making us a more sustainable, connected, competitive and resilient region.”    

A big ‘Thank You’ to the CCR Infrastructure team for their progress report on a ULEV programme that is transforming the way people travel in South East Wales.

With so much happening so quickly, keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming EV charging point updates from across the region …


#competitive #connected #resilient


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