West Sussex County Council has announced plans to install thousands of kerbside electric vehicle (EV) charging points, as part of the UK’s largest ever EV charging deployment by a local authority.
With research from Ofgem suggesting one in four UK households is intending to buy an electric car in the next five years, access to affordable, reliable EV charging points is going to be essential.
Kerbside charging is going to be key to provide this functionality to the 40% of drivers nationally without off-street parking facilities.
Currently, there is only one public access on-street EV charge point for every 52 electric vehicles on the UK roads. Without investment, that number is only going to rise too, and will potential be further seen as a limiting factor for some to turn to electric vehicles – currently, those without off-street parking make up just 9% of EV drivers nationally.
Run in partnership with Adur and Worthing, Arun, Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex district and borough councils, the West Sussex EV project will see residents benefit from thousands of charging points installed on streets, in public sector car parks, and on community facilities across the county.
It is estimated that the full rollout planned will take the next ten years to complete, working alongside increased EV adoption.
The local authority hopes that the rollout will see resident confidence in EV vehicles and access to chargers increase, in time for the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. It is also the first step in delivering an ambitious vision set out by West Sussex County Council in its EV Strategy released in December 2019.
The project is being fully-funded, managed and maintained by UK-based Connected Kerb, who already have extensive experience working with local authorities and public sector organisations on similar EV projects.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Electric Vehicles offer us an opportunity to travel without emitting carbon or having a negative impact on air quality, but we know that lack of public charge points is preventing many West Sussex residents from making the switch.
“I’m delighted to be taking another step forward to address this problem which will help residents take practical steps to address climate change and I look forward to working alongside Connected Kerb and our district and borough colleagues to deliver the network of West Sussex charge points.”
Dr Chris Pateman-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Connected Kerb, added: “Knowing you can arrive at virtually any location, at any time, in any vehicle and charge your battery without inconvenience or faff is the reality we must deliver to create an EV society.
“This project – the largest of its kind in the UK – personifies that future, helping residents to reduce their carbon footprint and making electric vehicle charging accessible to those without off-street parking.
“Forward-thinking partners like the West Sussex Councils are driving forward the EV transition at pace – simultaneously providing a blueprint for other local authorities across the UK to do the same. Their example will help the entire country meet its net zero goals by 2050.”