HOW do you charge your EV when it’s parked on a city street? This is one of the greatest problems facing large numbers of people willing to change to an electric car but thwarted by the lack of charging infrastructure, especially in cities.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), those without off-street parking or a dedicated parking space with domestic power supply account for 62% of drivers. These drivers are being left behind in the EV transition, making up as few as 9% of EV drivers today.
EV ownership in the UK is skyrocketing. Pure EV sales are already up by 88% year-to-date compared to 2020 and one in four UK households intend to buy an EV in the next five years, according to Ofgem research. However, there are currently only around 1,000 public-access on-street chargers outside of London and just one for every 52 EVs on UK roads.
Tackling this issue head-on, EV infrastructure specialist Connected Kerb has announced an ambitious target to install 190,000 chargers to potentially supply tens of millions of drivers without off-street parking and support mass market charging for workplaces and fleets by 2030. The investment for this roll-out is an unprecedented £1.9 billion.
Partnering with local authorities
Connected Kerb are working in partnership with local authorities. These, it claims, are uniquely placed to spearhead the deployment of public on-street charging across the UK. The UK government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles meets 75% of the cost of installations through the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS). In many cases, Connected Kerb provides the remaining 25%, providing a zero-cost installation opportunity for councils.
The company has won a tender with West Sussex, the largest ever deployment by a UK local authority, plus thousands more chargers announced across Kent, Milton Keynes, Coventry and Cambridge.
Connected Kerb’s technology and business model is designed to give all communities access to affordable and reliable public EV charging. Unlike many public charge points, Connected Kerb’s infrastructure has a long-lasting design. The charging infrastructure is located below ground and installed once, with passive chargers that can be easily ‘switched on’ by adding the above ground charge point to match consumer demand.
This long-term business model means Connected Kerb can access private finance at a lower cost of capital. This substantially improves the economics of EV charging, making it affordable to install, ultimately reducing the cost for drivers and opening more opportunities to install chargers in areas that were previously uneconomical. For example, those with low footfall or poor grid infrastructure.
EV ownership in the UK is skyrocketing. Pure EV sales are already up by 88% year-to-date compared to 2020. There are currently only around 1,000 public-access on-street chargers outside of London
Each of Connected Kerb’s chargers provides a fast charge between 7kW and 22kW, designed for habitual on-street charging where residents are parked for a predictable amount of time each day. Each charge point will feature contactless payment via the Connected Kerb app with a consistent network and tariff across the sites, enabling fair and equal access for everyone.
As of July 2021, the ORCS has funded the installation of 1,459 public charging devices since the scheme was established in 2017, with a further 3,200 charge points to be installed in the near future. During this year local authorities have committed to installing up to 10,000 Connected Kerb chargers by 2030, equivalent to a near seven-fold increase in the number of chargers installed through the scheme over its entire history.
The UK’s largest ever deployment of EV chargers by a local authority
The majority of the 10,000 chargers will be installed on streets, in public sector car parks and at community facilities for West Sussex Council by 2030, following a tender win by Connected Kerb, announced in early November. The rollout is believed the UK’s largest ever deployment of EV chargers by a local authority.
Kent County Council today has also chosen Connected Kerb to deploy at least 600 chargers by 2023. Installations are beginning this year, with many of the chargers installed in parish towns and rural areas across Kent, providing much needed infrastructure to communities often overlooked in the EV transition. Thousands more chargers are also announced today as part of tenders with councils including Coventry (300 chargers), Cambridge (360) and Plymouth (100), and recently, Milton Keynes (250), Warrington (30), Medway (30), and Glasgow City Council, East Lothian Council, Shropshire County Council and Hackney Council, as part of the Agile Streets trial (100).
Dr Chris Pateman-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Connected Kerb, said that knowing you can arrive at virtually any location, at any time, in any vehicle and cheaply charge your battery without inconvenience or faff is the reality we have to deliver to create an EV society.
Our rollout of public chargers – one of the most ambitious the UK has ever seen – encapsulates that future, helping individuals and businesses to confidently make the switch to electric, reducing their carbon footprint and cutting air pollution.”
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Providing reliable and affordable on-street charging is vital as we work to decarbonise transport and level up across the country.
It’s great to see Connected Kerb and local authorities working together as the Government commits £2.5bn towards electric vehicle grants and the development of EV infrastructure in our towns and cities.”