Electric vehicle (EV) charging specialist Connected Kerb is working with Kent County Council in a project that hopes 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 project’s first phase, Connected Kerb is installing 40 charging devices across 20 Kent Parish sites to improve accessibility for EV motorists and encourage a wider shift to EVs. All income from the chargers goes to the local community or is used to support the roll out and maintenance of more chargers.
The distribution of EV charge points across the UK is varied. For example, over 30% of the UK’s public charging network is located in London. According to the UK Government, access to convenient charge points is essential to ensuring communities do not become isolated, either because they become unreachable for other EV motorists, or because they themselves are unable to utilise new EV technology.
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said:
“Access to charging infrastructure is one of the biggest barriers to the uptake of EVs. Although demand for chargers is higher in dense urban areas, the lack of infrastructure in out-of-town communities leaves people concerned about switching to EVs. 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.”
Installing public charging infrastructure outside of busy urban areas has typically been a challenge for the industry. Lower grid capacity and fewer connections increase upfront cost, with lower footfall compounding the challenge by extending the return-on-investment period. Some rapid chargers, for example, cost upwards of £100,000 to install, with lifespans of between 5-10 years.
As part of the company’s mission to make charging electric vehicles accessible for everyone, wherever they live, Connected Kerb’s technology and business model enables local authorities to provide all communities with accessible, low-cost and reliable public EV charging.
The company’s infrastructure is designed to last 20+ years, is located below ground and is 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.