Hackney installs first of 2,500 new public chargers

Hackney Council has begun one of the UK’s largest EV charger roll-outs with the installation of its first new device.

The charger at Follingham Court is the first of 830 lower-powered chargers scheduled to be installed this year as part of the wider project. In total, 2,500 new EV chargers will be installed across the council area in the next two years.

Another 670 7kW units, designed to be used as overnight chargers, will be installed by 2026, with 1,000 freestanding chargers offering up to 22kW AC charging also introduced.

The roll-out is part of a partnership between the council and infrastructure provider Zest, which will install and operate the chargers. The chargers will not cost the council anything, with Zest funding the programme through the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, a government sponsored public-private fund.

Hackney Council said the move was the first time a whole-area network of this scale had been planned and was part of its commitment to decarbonise its transport system. All the chargers will be powered by renewable energy.

Ten per cent of chargers will be installed on estates, with the devices evenly distributed around the borough. The chargers will be installed in parking bays or in street-side lampposts to ensure pavements are kept free of obstructions.

Drivers who hold a Hackney EV permit through Hackney Light and Power, will qualify for a reduced tariff when using the devices.

Hackney is expected to have the densest network of EV chargers of any area in the country when the rollout is completed in 2026, with 3,000 chargers in the borough’s seven square miles.

Cllr Mete Coban, cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, said: “The switch to EVs will help tackle pollution and create a greener, healthier Hackney.

“While we’re proud that Hackney has one of the highest proportions of people walking, cycling and taking public transport in London, this country-leading rollout will help those who need to drive to switch to EVs.

“The council has used its procurement power to do this in a way that works for Hackney – with chargers placed in lampposts or in parking bays, not the pavement, and by ensuring that all our estates and neighbourhoods benefit from the rollout.”

Robin Heap, CEO at Zest, said: “We’re delighted to be working in long term partnership with Hackney. The sheer scale of this project shows what bold thinking and public-private partnership can achieve. I see this as more than a project – it is a blueprint for the next wave of EV infrastructure.”

The start of Hackney’s ambitious roll-out comes as new research suggests that one in three UK councils has no formal charging infrastructure plan. The study by charge point operator Believ found that among those with a set plan, just one in eight expected to hit their target on time.

Want the latest Electric vehicle news in your inbox? Sign up to the free EV Powered email newsletter...

Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.