As the world wakes up to the reality that we need to live greener if we are going to protect our planet, the UK government has committed to banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
With university students ranking as one of the most likely groups to be concerned about climate change and a staggering 94% actively looking to reduce their environmental footprint, the car insurance team at money.co.uk have looked at which university institutions are most committed to sustainable transport on campus.
The new EV University League, ranking more than 100 UK universities, reveals that 30 institutions have really embraced a greener way of travelling to study and work.
Over a period of two months, money.co.uk submitted Freedom of Information requests to 130 UK universities, asking them about their current infrastructure for EV vehicles and sustainable transport.
Of eligible universities (i.e. Universities that had physical campuses with on-site parking), 101 replied to our requests, allowing the team to create a comprehensive league table based on several factors.
We asked universities the following five questions on their sustainable transport infrastructure which we used to compile the league table:
Did they have charging for electric vehicles?
How many EV charging spaces are available across all campuses?
How much does EV charging on university campuses cost?
How many total car parking spaces does the university have?
How many spaces does the university have for securing bicycles?
We also asked universities who the supplier of their EV charging facilities were but didn’t use this data to compile the league tables.
As access and methods of EV charging vary wildly across universities, to keep things simple we measured each university across four qualifying benchmarks:
Does the university provide any electric vehicle charging for either staff, fleet, or students?
Is the charging of electric vehicles free?
Is the ratio of EV charging to total car parking spaces 1:100 or greater?
Is the ratio of bicycle spaces to car parking spaces 2:1 or greater?
For each benchmark passed, universities scored one point out of a maximum of four total points. These translated into leagues as follows:
Four points: A+ League (most sustainable)
Three points: A League
Two points: B League
One points: C League
Zero points: D League (least sustainable)
Both the ‘A’ and ‘A+’ league represent excellent commitment to sustainable transport practices, with the ‘A+ league’ representing particularly outstanding commitment.
Out of the 101 universities in the study, there were 30 that showed excellent commitment to sustainable transport, based on the league criteria.
While variances such as student and staff numbers make it difficult to rank a definitive ‘number one’, the study found a good selection of universities making large strides towards being EV and bicycle friendly, with particular distinctions going to University of Sheffield, University of Bath, University of Leeds, University of Bristol, University of St Andrews, University of Dundee, Glasgow Caledonian University, St George's University of London, University College London, and the University of Abertay Dundee who all scored full marks against the league criteria.
Of the 10 universities that gained a spot in the elite A+ League, four were based in Scotland, with two based in the north of England and four based in the south.
The full league information, comprising 101 UK universities is available to view and download below.
Salman Haqqi, car insurance expert at money.co.uk commented: “Across the board, it’s encouraging to see so many universities taking active steps towards sustainable transport infrastructure by installing EV charging points or offering adequate bike facilities.
“The universities at the top of the league tables represent the most commitment to eco-friendly transportation, with the very best offering large amounts of free EV charging and ample bike facilities.
“But we still have a long way to go. According to our research, there are more than 140,000 car parking spaces throughout UK universities compared to just 1,024 EV charging points across campuses. If the future is indeed electric, our study shows there is still significant improvement and investment that need to be made over the upcoming years.”
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