Connected Kerb addresses ‘EV inequality’ with street charging project

Connected Kerb is working with the London Borough of Lambeth to tackle EV inequality and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

The electric vehicle charging company has teamed up with Lambeth for a new project to demonstrate how affordable and accessible public EV charging infrastructure can be deployed to tackle EV inequality and drive greater EV adoption amongst communities traditionally under-represented in the electric vehicle transition.

Connected Kerb will be installing 22 on-street electric vehicle chargers across 11 council estates in the Borough to provide easy access to public charging, even for those without off-street parking. 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 project targets those living in urban centres, high-rise flats and council estates that are significantly less likely to have access to a private driveway, making it difficult to install home charging solutions.

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.”

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. This means that a large proportion of drivers will have to rely on public EV charging infrastructure. The project will therefore act as a blueprint that can be adopted at scale by other boroughs, councils and cities across Britain to deliver an inclusive and equitable EV transition, serving all members of society, including the 40% of households nationally without off-street parking.

Cllr Danny Adilypour, Cabinet Member for sustainable transport, environment and clean air at Lambeth Council, added: “As the first London council to declare a climate emergency, we’re committed to accelerating the transition to cleaner transport across our Borough – particularly by encouraging active travel and public transport. For residents who need to use private vehicles, we recognise how important access to EV charging is to provide the confidence to switch to cars with zero emissions at the tailpipe. Projects like this help us do just that, while also helping us reach our net zero targets and improve air quality on our streets, protecting the health of our communities.”

Each of Connected Kerb’s chargers will provide a 7kW fast charge, with every charge point featuring contactless payment via the Connected Kerb app with a consistent network and tariff across the sites.

Ajai Ahluwalia, local resident and driver said: “Switching away from a fossil-fuelled car was very important to me as reducing my impact on climate change is something I really care about. However, living in a home without off-street parking makes this difficult – before the installation, the nearest chargers were a fifteen-minute walk away and it wasn’t guaranteed that I would be able to get a spot – this was a real nuisance, and I am sure it puts a lot of local people off making the switch.

“The installation of the chargers has had a really positive impact on the estate. I’ve spoken to neighbours who have actually made the switch to an electric vehicle because of the chargers going in and they are reassured that they can easily charge outside their flat – it’s amazing! The more boroughs and estates this type of project can happen in, the better.”

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

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