The largest-ever local authority roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the UK was launched this week in West Sussex.
West Sussex County Council, Adur and Worthing Councils, Arun District Council, Crawley Borough Council, Horsham District Council and Mid Sussex District Council signed a contract last year with Connected Kerb, one of the country’s leading providers of EV charging infrastructure solutions, to install and maintain thousands of charging points across the county.
The ground-breaking project will deliver transformational improvements to EV provision in the region, providing better access to charging facilities, particularly to those without off-street parking. Residents will be consulted over where they want the charging points located.
Councillors, alongside Connected Kerb representatives, gathered at Hazelgrove Road Car Park, Haywards Heath, on Monday to mark the roll-out, which will take place over the next decade.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “This is a milestone moment for the county as these chargepoints are the first of many to be installed across West Sussex, servicing residents’ electric vehicle charging needs.
“They offer people without off-street parking convenient and reliable charging as they will be sited both within car parks and on-street.
“We know that some residents have hesitated to make the switch to electric vehicles because of a lack of public chargepoints: we hope this launch will encourage them to reconsider, make the change and, in turn, have a positive impact on carbon emissions and air quality.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside Connected Kerb and our district and borough council partners to deliver the network of West Sussex chargepoints.”
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said: “We are looking forward to starting work on this game-changing project for electric vehicles in West Sussex. The challenge of scale is very real – no other council has undertaken this number of charging points in a single roll-out – but we are committed to ensuring that EV becomes accessible, sustainable and affordable for every EV user in the county. Furthermore, we hope it will encourage further EV uptake as we move towards 2030 and the ban on sales of new diesel and petrol vehicles.”
About the West Sussex Charge Point Network:
• Run in partnership with Adur and Worthing, Arun, Crawley, Horsham, and Mid Sussex district and borough councils, West Sussex residents will see thousands of chargepoints installed on streets, in public sector car parks and on community facilities across the county within the next ten years. UK-based Connected Kerb is fully funding the project and will also manage and maintain the chargepoints on an ongoing basis. The company has extensive experience of working with local authorities and public sector organisations.
• One in four UK households intend to buy an electric car in the next five years, as the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles approaches, according to research by energy watchdog Ofgem. However, there is currently only one public-access on-street EV chargepoint for every 52 EVs on UK roads. As a result, those without off-street parking make up as few as 9% of EV drivers today.