electric vehicle charging

Public EV charging for social housing to be trialled in London borough

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A new programme to deploy public electric vehicle (EV) charging in areas that are underserved is being trialled in the London Borough of Lambeth.

While EV ownership is skyrocketing across the UK – with new registrations up 117 per cent this year, compared to 2020 – people living in urban centres, high-rise flats and council estates are significantly less likely to have access to a private driveway, making it difficult to install home-charging solutions.

Lambeth is collaborating with charging firm Connected Kerb to build 22 on-street EV 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 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.

Households which have access to a driveway currently make up 80 per cent of EV owners, with the remaining 20 per cent owned by those in houses or flats with no access to off-street parking.

These communities often have the most to gain from EVs due to being disproportionately exposed to the highest levels of toxic exhaust emissions and suffering significantly poorer air quality.

Current figures suggest there are around 34 EVs on UK roads for every public access on-street EV charger, making it difficult for drivers without off-street parking to charge at home.

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 EV drivers will have to rely on public charging infrastructure. Connected Kerb said it hopes the project will act as a blueprint that can be adopted at scale by other boroughs, councils and cities across Britain.

Councillor Danny Adilypour, cabinet member for sustainable transport at Lambeth Council, said: “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.”

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