5 June 2024

Driving towards a more sustainable future on World Environment Day: How Gul-e is helping local authorities meet their sustainability targets

In the words of the UN Environment Programme: “The state of the planet affects us all – both now and in the future. No matter who and where you are, everyone alive right now has a critical role to play for the future of land.”

Every year, World Environment Day reminds us of our collective responsibility to protect the planet. In the UK, local authorities are at the forefront of this mission, striving to meet ambitious sustainability targets that are driven by national legislation, regional initiatives, and international commitments.

These targets cover various aspects of environmental protection, social equity, and economic development, such as developing electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to support the transition to electric mobility. Transitioning to EVs reduces carbon emissions and brings many benefits that align perfectly with local sustainability objectives. However, without the correct infrastructure in place, residents and local authorities alike are doomed to fail.

Barriers to EV adoption

By 2030, the UK government will end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles, with hybrid sales ending by 2035. For this transition to succeed, charging must be accessible and affordable to all. Yet, 6.6 million UK households rely on on-street parking and cannot charge their EVs at home.

Public and destination charging is more expensive than home charging, presenting a significant barrier to EV adoption for about a quarter of the UK’s population. Many EV users resort to trailing cables across public highways, creating multiple safety hazards.

Designed by local authorities, for local authorities

Gul-e by ODS was born out of the need to find a safe, convenient, and secure solution to enable EV owners in Oxford, living in properties without driveways, to charge their vehicles at home. As more and more residents in Oxford adopted electric vehicles, Oxford City Council identified the problem of trailing cables and the resultant trip hazards was growing. A robust, reliable solution was needed to overcome these environmental and social problems, so they collaborated with the expert Highways team at ODS, a company wholly owned by Oxford City Council, to develop a workable and affordable solution.

EV charging innovation for forward-thinking local authorities

Gul-e is at the leading edge of cable channel charging innovation. It is a durable pavement gully that is seamlessly and permanently encased in the footway. EV owners can then simply park their vehicle on the street in front of their home, press the charging cable into the Gul-e, and plug their vehicle into their own home charger. Gul-e provides an easy-to-use, convenient, and simple solution for on-street residents that saves them money. Furthermore, as a ‘doing good’ company, ODS has placed paramount importance on procuring an ethical supply chain and building sustainability into the unit’s design.

Key benefits of Gul-e for local authorities and housing developers

Many other local authorities are reaping the benefits of Gul-e, including Central Bedfordshire, London Borough of Bromley, Surrey County Council, Buckingham County Council, and Cherwell District Council. Key advantages include:

  • Achieving environmental and sustainability policy goals: Implementing the solution can support reaching local EV Strategy, Transport Decarbonisation, and Net-Zero targets.
  • Safe EV charging access: Up to 25% of UK households can gain access to safe and competitively priced at-home charging.
  • New income streams: Local authorities can extract income from each stage of the process (sale of the unit, installation, licensing, subscription, and maintenance packages).
  • Reduced infrastructure spend: The affordable cost will be suitable for self-funding, reducing the need for Council investment in infrastructure and maintenance.
  • Maintains streetscape: Avoids clutter and reduces the need for public EV charging infrastructure and paved front gardens.
  • Avoids publicly funded grid connection and reinforcement cost: Through utilisation of the home energy supply and encouragement of night charging.
  • Rapid implementation: Bespoke highway licensing and application processes enable quick adoption.
  • Aids healthy market competition: Prevents public charging monopolies, offering households a choice between home and public charging.

A giant leap towards a sustainable future

On World Environment Day, it’s evident that adopting electric vehicles is crucial for UK local authorities to meet their sustainability targets. EVs reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, promote economic growth, and encourage sustainable urban planning.

Local authorities can lead the way in creating healthier, more sustainable communities for future generations. Will you be a driver for change?

We can help

Contact Gul-e to discuss trialing our innovative pavement channel charging solution in your area. Email gul-e@odsgroup.co.uk and visit Home – Gul-e | No Driveway? No Problem! to find out more.

Latest news

World Environment Day 2024: How Gul-e is helping local authorities meet their sustainability targets

5 June 2024|

In the words of the UN Environment Programme: “The state of the planet affects us all – both now and in the future. No matter who and where you are, everyone alive right now has a critical role to play for the future of land.” Every year, World Environment Day reminds us of our collective responsibility to protect the planet. In the UK, local authorities are at the forefront of this mission, striving to meet ambitious sustainability targets that are driven by national legislation, regional initiatives, and international commitments.

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“The best thing about Gul-e is its simplicity. It really is so easy to use,
and was a big part of my decision to buy an EV.”

Mr Jesper Ekelund, Oxford

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