Electric vehicle fleets continue to grow as local authorities champion green growth

  • 53 per cent of local authorities have a standalone electrification strategy or one that explicitly addresses their fleet as part of a wider climate strategy.
  • Councils plan on investing £12.8 million on EV charging infrastructure this year. Up 41 per cent from the £9.1million spent last year (2022) and up 212 per cent from £4.1million in 2021.
  • 21 per cent of councils increased the number of electric cars in their fleet in 2023 while 34 per cent of councils increased the number of electric vans in their fleet year-on-year.

New research from Churchill Expert, the flexible fleet insurance provider, has found that over half of UK councils (53 per cent) have a standalone electrification strategy, or one that explicitly addresses their vehicle fleet as part of their wider climate strategy.

Local authorities have continued to invest in EV infrastructure in the past year, with 44 per cent of councils increasing the number of charging points at their depots year-on-year. The number of charge points increased by 1,117 last year, representing a 40 per cent increase in the number of chargers year-on-year, as the total number of chargers has increased to 4,615 across the UK.

Councils are also planning to invest record levels into EV charging infrastructure at their depots this year, with £12.8 million planned for 2023.  This is up 41 per cent from the £9.1million spent in 2022 and up 212 per cent from the £4.1million invested in 2021.

Overall, the number of electric vehicles in council fleets increased by 26 per cent this year. Councils have also been prioritising investment in EV vans ahead of EV cars. The stock of EV vans increased by 30 per cent in 2023 compared to a 21 per cent increase in the stock of EV cars.

The research also revealed regional differences in how different local authorities were shaping up in their goal to create a greener fleet. Scottish local authorities are leading the charge with electrifying their vehicles as 14.2 per cent of their fleet was electrified. Conversely, Northern Ireland is lagging compared to the rest of the UK’s councils, as only 2.8 per cent of their fleet is electrified.

Number of local authority-run electric vehicles, by region

Region Electric Cars Electric Vans All Electric Vehicles
2021 2022 2023 2021 2022 2023 2021 2022 2023
East Midlands 51 54 52 157 189 189 208 243 241
East of England 35 42 107 91 105 132 126 147 239
Scotland and Highlands 781 875 941 633 703 789 1414 1578 1730
London 41 46 66 118 183 225 159 229 291
North East England 77 90 101 110 130 182 187 220 283
North West England 29 49 58 112 150 199 141 199 257
Northern Ireland 6 7 10 32 42 55 38 49 65
South East England 99 115 185 169 202 335 268 317 520
South West England 82 122 172 93 149 215 175 271 387
Wales 40 47 64 117 156 292 157 203 356
West Midlands 40 42 60 73 103 148 113 145 208
Yorkshire and Humber 86 101 104 203 259 300 289 360 404
UK Total 1367 1590 1920 1908 2371 3061 3275 3961 4981

Source: Churchill Expert 2023

Nicola Richmond, Head of Churchill Expert Flexible Fleet Partnerships, said: “Our research shows that councils are continuing to invest in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure at their depots, and it is great to see that over half have a strategy in place, which provides for a structured long-term plan. Even with the recent government changes in policy, we expect councils to continue to replace their fleets and improve charging infrastructure.”


Notes to Editors

1              FOIA request issued to local councils across the UK in September 2023. A total of 312 councils responded, of which 306 provided usable data.

For further information please contact:

Unni Henry 

Churchill Expert PR Manager

Email: [email protected]

About Churchill Expert

Churchill Expert specialises in providing easy access to flexible mobility insurance, as well as business and landlord insurance through partnerships. Part of the well know and much-loved Churchill brand, Churchill Expert is a trading name of insurance intermediary U K Insurance Business Solutions Limited (UKIBS) which has been operating since 2004 and provides NIG policies underwritten by U K Insurance Limited (UKI). Along with the insurer U K Insurance Limited (UKI), U K Insurance Business Solutions Limited is part of the Direct Line Group.

U K Insurance Business Solutions Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA registration number 313783. Registered office: Churchill Court, Westmoreland Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1DP. Registered in England and Wales No 05196274.

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