Sustainability Salon: the issues with EVs

Three photos of people sitting around tables discussing the issues with EVs

Electric Vehicles (EVs) promise low running costs and reduced carbon emissions. But they also bring issues of energy storage, energy generation, infrastructure, societal issues, safety, business, political policy and more into play.

To discuss these issues, IAA Knowledge Exchange Associate David Hughes hosted the first Sustainability Salon at the University of Glasgow on Wednesday, 5 July 2023.

Realising the University's central position, we had invited industry representatives, the Department for Transport, local government, specialist consultants and community leaders. They shared their perspectives, expertise, and the actions they considered necessary with each other and with academics, who may be able to push technology and research in the right direction. The energy in the room was palpable. Very interesting ideas came through.

Two whiteboards with issues on the left and solutions on the right. A woman writing.


Having created a network and identified issues and possible actions means there’s not only a considered map of what to do next, but partners who are invested in making it happen.

The event had two big picture takeaways. First, infrastructure needs attention and support. Second, all actions need to have inclusivity and an understanding of how people are affected and will react at their heart.

Reflecting on the event, David Hughes said: "The feedback has been great. Events like this mean folk making decisions on the front line are more informed. They have access to more resources and can see a little further ahead to what’s coming."

David Hughes speaking among a group of listening people

About the Sustainability Salons

The Sustainability Salons bring the practical knowledge of industry together with the technical and theoretical expertise of academics, to inspire potential projects to help solve sustainability issues. We have EPSRC IAA funding available to support these projects. There will be around 50 people at each Sustainability Salon. We’ll provide refreshments and facilitators will loosely guide the discussions.

How to join

If you would like to attend future Sustainability Salons, please contact David Hughes at