Hackney Council has announced the signing of a deal with Zest to provide and operate 2,500 new electric vehicles (EV) charge points across the borough by 2026.
The project will be completed at no cost to the council, and will instead be completely funded by Zest, which will access capital from the Government’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF).
A further contract for up to 150 additional rapid charge points is close to being signed off, taking the number to 2,000. The agreements are the first example of a local authority using its procurement powers and expertise to partner with the private sector to install thousands of new charging points. The rollout will result in the most concentrated network of EV chargers in any local authority area in the UK.
The new charging network is designed to encourage those drivers and businesses to switch to electric vehicles, with discounted charging rates available to Hackney residents through Hackney Light and Power, the Council’s energy services arm.
“We’re delighted to partner with Hackney to help deliver on their bold decarbonisation strategy. Providing abundant charging facilities, and supporting car clubs to go electric, will make EV a more natural choice for people across the borough,” said Robin Heap, Zest CEO.
“Our role is to work with organisations that want to build bigger and move faster in EV charging, investing in high quality facilities and providing a convenient long-term service.”
All of the charging points will use 100% renewable energy.
The first of the new chargers will be installed in late 2023, with 1,500 slow chargers being mounted on existing lampposts, ideal for overnight charging for residents using on-street parking.
The 1,000 fast chargers and 150 rapid chargers will be installed in existing parking bays so they do not take up space on pavements.
One aim of the project is to supply every housing estate in the borough with at least one charging point, with a target of 300 charging points located on estates.
“Road transport accounts for 24% of UK carbon emissions and is a significant contributor to air pollution, which is why we want to support people to switch to EVs or car clubs – a key part of the ambitions set out in our new Climate Action Plan,” said Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville.
“I hope this ambitious plan for thousands of new charging points shows how local councils can be at the forefront of work to tackle climate change, lead innovation and help to pave the way for wider transport decarbonisation in the UK.”