New research says that Huddersfield is the second worst place in the UK when it comes to encouraging drivers to switch to electric vehicles (EVs).

The research by Independent Advisor Car Insurance created an index to analyse factors that may influence drivers when switching to EVs, such as free and paid EV charger availability, EV registrations and charging times.

Blackpool came out worst with Huddersfield close behind with an EV readiness score of just 1.98 out of 10.

Charging time is two hours and 20 minutes, which can be attractive for those looking to switch to an EV. However, there are nearly 10,000 residents per EV charger (15) but, more discouragingly, just 20% of these offer free charging.

Across the 88 towns and cities analysed, on average 70% of charging points are free. Huddersfield is also the third worst area for access to free charging, beaten only by Hastings (11%) and Liverpool (19%).

Kirklees Council, in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, is currently running a public consultation on EVs as part of the Kirklees Innovative Electric Vehicle Programme. 

The consultation, which can be found HERE, runs until March 26 2024.

Clr Aafaq Butt, the council’s Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, said: “While we recognise the importance of charging point availability, EV uptake isn’t always determined by public infrastructure, as many people charge at home.

“Investment in charging points should meet current and anticipated demand, which is why we’re planning for the future as demand increases and exploring on-street charging opportunities.

“We have secured multiple pots of funding from the Government and are working in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority to deliver a charging network in Kirklees that works for local people now and in the future.

“We’re currently consulting on barriers to EV ownership because we want to make owning an electric vehicle a realistic option for everyone.

“We want to hear from all residents because improving things which help our environment affects us all.”

The council website says EV charging points are available in the following Huddersfield council car parks: Bath Street Car Park and Oldgate, in Huddersfield; Lidget Street Car Park, Lindley; and New Street in Slaithwaite.

Launching the consultation, Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “Encouraging more people into electric cars is a key part of our vision to create a modern, sustainable transport system that helps tackle the climate emergency.

“We know that improving access to electric vehicles is important to many people across Kirklees, not least those who use vehicles to run key local businesses and services such as taxi operators and delivery drivers.

“We urge you to have your say and help shape plans to make electric car usage an option for everyone.”