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‘Trailblazing’ project in Lambeth to deliver accessible public charging

A ‘first-of-its-kind’ project to deliver affordable and accessible public charging for EV drivers without off-street parking has been carried out in Lambeth.

The Connected Kerb project provides a blueprint for the UK’s local authorities on delivering affordable and accessible public charging

Intended to provide a blueprint to other UK councils, the project with Connected Kerb provides 22 on-street EV chargers across 11 council estates in the London borough, giving drivers easy access to public charging.

It forms part of the council’s wider strategy to work with multiple charge point operators to install more than 200 charge points by 2022, with the aim of ensuring every household with no access to off-street parking is within a five-minute walk of their nearest charge point.

The work shows how EV charging infrastructure can be deployed to tackle EV inequality and drive greater EV adoption amongst communities traditionally under-represented in the EV transition.

While EV ownership is skyrocketing, the transition to EVs has exposed disparities between different communities across the UK when it comes to the ability to homecharge.

Although the market typically talks about 40% of people not having access to a driveway, Connected Kerb says this rises to around 62% when you add in those who do have somewhere to park but don’t control the land and/or don’t have a power supply.

And lack of public charging infrastructure is a key barrier to greater EV adoption.

It’s an area that Connected Kerb has taken an early lead on, including through other projects, such as its work with Kent County Council.

Lambeth also shows the need for a proactive stance on on-street charging. Approximately a third of residents in Lambeth live on estates managed by the council and the majority of housing in the borough does not have off-street parking.

Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said: “People often think electric vehicles are the preserve of a fortunate few with detached houses and driveways, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. With running costs much lower than petrol and diesel cars, all communities, regardless of where they live, their social background, or whether they have a driveway or not, have lots to gain.

“Unfortunately, some communities are being failed by a classic chicken and egg scenario. Without high EV adoption, charge point operators won’t build public charging, and without reliable charging, why would anyone go electric? We have designed our business model to overcome this and with Lambeth Council, we are delivering a fairer and equitable clean transport future – here and right across the UK.”

Each of Connected Kerb’s chargers will provide a 7kW fast charge and will feature contactless payment via the Connected Kerb app. The business model means Lambeth will have access to a secure revenue stream to help maintain and expand the charger network.

The project was funded in part through the Government’s On-Street Residential Charge Point Scheme, which saw 75% of the costs financed by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles and the remaining costs covered by the council. The scheme is available to all local authorities in the UK.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

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