Brent, Zest and Uber have partnered to provide 160 new on-street electric vehicle charging bays across 80 locations in Brent.
The first of these opened this week in West Ella Road. These on-street charging points will improve access for those without private driveways or access to a charge point at their home. Zest and Uber are funding the project. Zest will also provide the long-term operation of the service and maintenance of the charge points, meaning no resource overheads for the Council.
Brent is committed to move away from petrol and diesel vehicles. The Council’s strategy is to support the roll out of new electric charging infrastructure and help to ensure that the transition is accessible and affordable for residents and businesses. London is Uber’s top city for EVs worldwide, with well over 10,000 electric vehicles on the platform driving more than 20% of trip miles in the capital.
Michael Lukasz Suchocki, a local Uber driver, said: “Having more chargers is crucial for promoting the widespread adoption of EVs – solving range anxiety and encouraging more people to make the switch. I love driving my Tesla and I switched to reduce both my environmental impact and my fuel costs. Riders love the car too, and they often comment on its smooth and quiet performance – some even say they want to buy an EV themselves after riding in mine.”
Councillor Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member, for Environment, Infrastructure, and Climate Action, at Brent Council, said: “In order to reach our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, we have to make it as easy as possible for residents to pick transport that is good for the environment – this does just that. We are currently 4th in London by the number of charging points and after this project we will have almost 1,000 electric charging points across Brent.
“Thanks to all the council staff, Zest and Uber who have helped to make this happen and increase our charging points in the borough considerably.”
Robin Heap, CEO of Zest, said: “Mass adoption of electric vehicles, with all the climate and air quality benefits they bring, will only happen when everyone has access to a convenient and reliable charging service. By investing in Brent, already an early leader in providing public charging facilities, we can improve charge point availability for residents across the borough.”
Andrew Brem, General Manager of Uber UK, said: “We are delighted to work with Brent Council on this vital project to boost EV infrastructure. Getting the first chargers in the ground is a huge milestone with drivers often telling me that being able to access reliable charging near their homes is critical to their decision to switch to an EV.” This is the first time that boroughs have worked with a ride-hailing company to directly install chargers on London’s streets. The chargers will be available for everyone to use.”
According to the Council’s Climate & Ecological Emergency Strategy, road transport is the third biggest contributor to territorial carbon emissions in Brent, representing 22% of the total. Moving away from private car usage and towards public transport, electric vehicles, walking and cycling will have major benefits, not only for the climate but also for public health.
Zest is backed by the government-sponsored Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund(CIIF), a public-private fund whose mission is to accelerate the provision of public access EV infrastructure through projects like this.