Connected Kerb to work with local authorities to tackle EV charging postcode lottery
A new project said to be the first of its kind will deliver the electric vehicle charging revolution to out-of-town communities, helping to tackle EV inequality.
While the project sees charging specialist Connected Kerb tie up with Kent County Council, it’s actually intended to provide a blueprint for local authorities across the UK to deliver sustainable, affordable and accessible EV infrastructure to hard-to-reach UK communities.
In the first phase of the project, 40 charging units will go live across 20 Kent Parish sites – in poorly served charging areas – improving accessibility for EV motorists and thereby encouraging a wider shift to EVs. The chargers will provide a 7-22KW fast charge and will feature contactless payment via the Connected Kerb app.
All the income from the chargers will either go straight to the community – or will be used to support the roll out and maintenance of more chargers, creating a long-term revenue stream for those involved.
The work will help ensure communities do not get left behind in the switch to EVs; something that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has highlighted as a possible risk, with a lack of infrastructure potentially stifling EV uptake.
Research indicates that the distribution of EV charge points across the UK is massively varied. As an example, over 30% of the UK’s public charging network is located in London, equivalent to 63 public chargers per 100,000 people. But the area of Gravesham in Kent has just 3.7 chargers per 100,000 people.
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said: “It is vital that access to public charging is equitable across the entire country and we bring an end to the EV charging postcode lottery.
“Nobody should be left behind by the EV revolution because of where they live. Our partnership with Kent County Council shows that the economics of installing EV charging in non-urban areas is much more favourable than many believe. This is a recipe for success for local authorities across the UK.”
The project is being made possible by Connected Kerb’s technology and business model, which dramatically reduces the cost for local authorities and landlords, making EV charging realistic for hard-to-reach communities.
Connected Kerb’s infrastructure is designed to last 20+ years – said to be significantly longer than anything else on the market. 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.
The chargers also feature additional smart capabilities that can facilitate air quality monitoring, parking management, CCTV, road sensors, 5G connection, autonomous vehicles, route planning and power demand forecasting – adding to the business case for installing the infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas.
This long-term approach means Kent County Council and the parish will have access to an ongoing revenue stream to help maintain and expand the charger network.
The project is being financed from a range of sources, including the Kent Lane Rental Scheme and from the DFT to support sustainable travel. In addition, the parishes themselves have contributed and for some locations 75% of the costs were financed through the Government’s On Street Residential Charge Point Scheme, available to all local authorities in the UK.
Connected Kerb also offers a fully funded model, involving no upfront cost to local authorities, with all charger revenue shared.