As part of The Big Conversation, we ran a series of virtual events to explore the best road to recovery for regions across the UK.  


Executive summary

On 20 October 2020, stakeholders from the North West gathered as part of Lloyds Banking Group’s Big Conversation to discuss the challenges, opportunities and critical areas of support needed to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and facilitate a green recovery for the region.

The key issues discussed were:

  • An increased roll-out of EVs is needed to support the UK’s net zero ambitions and improve air quality.
  • High upfront costs and lack of infrastructure are the main challenges to EV adoption.
  • The barriers to EVs must be tackled holistically: infrastructure, cost and convenience.
  • The introduction of policies and innovations such as increased leasing and the creation of a used EV market are needed to widen access to EVs.
  • Educational campaigns are required to increase awareness and adoption of EVs.

Event attendees

Elyn Corfield, Lloyds Banking Group’s Ambassador for the North of England

Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region, Metro Mayor

Chris Pateman-Jones, Connected Kerb, CEO

Claire Watson-Brown, Jaguar Land Rover, National Contract Hire and Public Sector Manager

Darren Gardner, E.ON, Head of E.ON Drive and Vehicle to Grid

Gill Nowell, Electralink, DSO Lead

Lauren Pamma, Lloyds Banking Group, Electrification Lead

Marc Palmer, Autotrader, Manufacturer Brand Director

Mark Bousfield, Liverpool City Region, Director of Commercial Development and Investment

Peter Cole, Transport for the North, Principal Environmental and Sustainability Officer

Simon King, Mitie, Director of Sustainability and Social Value

Watch the event highlights

Challenges and opportunities


The roll-out of EVs is needed to support the UK’s net zero ambitions. 

  • Transport is the UK’s largest source of CO2 emissions, and low emission vehicles will play a important role in improving air quality, and helping to meet the UK’s 2050 target, as well as Liverpool’s net zero by 2040 ambition

Cost and lack of infrastructure are the main challenges to EV adoption. 

  • Consumer demand for EVs is growing, but the high upfront cost remains a barrier, particularly in the North West.
  • Access to charging is a big issue facing EV drivers. An estimated 45% of drivers do not have access to off-street parking.
  • Infrastrastructure is often being built without consulting local communities leading to unused charging points.

EVs are not currently widely accessible to diverse groups.

  • EV usage is generally limited to early adopters and wealthy postcodes.
  • Certain groups are at risk of being excluded from the EV market such as lower income earners due to the high upfront cost, and disabled drivers due to insufficient infrastructure.


"The climate emergency is an existential crisis and it needs to be factored into our planning processes now." 


Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region, Metro Mayor

Solutions to expand adoption of EVs


The barriers to EVs must be tackled holistically: infrastructure, cost and convenience. 

  • A coherent and long-term policy is needed to support the expansion of EVs based on collaboration with government, businesses and local communities.
  • Deployment of infrastructure can support job creation, bringing social and economic, as well as environmental benefits. 

"Any company fleet that isn’t EV isn’t doing the right thing for their business. We’ve saved £1 million by switching."


Simon King, Mitie


New policies and innovations are needed to increase access to EVs. 

  • Leasing EVs, creating a used market, and investing in green public transport, such as hydrogen-powered buses are seen as viable solutions to widen access to electric vehicles.
  • The rollout of EVs needs to take into consideration the needs of disabled drivers, and should not exacerbate inclusion issues.

Educational campaigns are required to increase awareness and adoption.

  • Education is vital to get the word out there and challenge perceptions that the life cycle cost of EVs are higher when in reality they are often comparable to traditional vehicles.


Read about how we've been getting to the heart of what the UK's people, businesses and communities need to emerge stronger and better than before, and see the other regional event summaries.

Find out more