Leading the charge towards EV in the community
In November of last year, Connected Kerb and West Sussex County Council announced a partnership for the installation of thousands of charging points across West Sussex.
We talked to Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb to learn more about the project.
Tell us about the project with West Sussex
The West Sussex Chargepoint Network will be the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging point deployment by a single local authority and will be run in partnership with six district and borough councils.
West Sussex residents, many of whom don’t have driveways to charge their vehicle, will see thousands of charge points in public sector car parks and on community facilities across the county within the next ten years.
The majority of charging points will be 7kW and allow a typical car to charge 0-80% in 3-7 hours. Where suitable, there will be some rapid charging points installed.
They will be fully funded, installed and maintained by Connected Kerb with some small revenue for the landowner, based on the number of chargepoints on their land and the revenue produced.
Why is the project so important?
Modelling work undertaken by West Sussex County Council estimates that West Sussex needs to see 3,305 public charging points by 2025, and 7,346 by 2030. Of particular concern is fulfilling the EV requirements of residents who have no access to off-street parking. Furthermore, West Sussex, like the rest of the UK, needs to get EV-ready ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. But the council wants to install them in locations where they are needed but not where they encourage additional car use.
Across the county, 37% of total carbon emissions in West Sussex are due to road transport and over half of these emissions are due to car travel.
There are currently 10 Air Quality Management Areas. These AQMAs are locations where Nitrogen Oxide levels exceed, or are likely to exceed, the national maximum threshold. The main cause of this pollution is vehicle emissions.
What are the main challenges of the project?
For sure, the greatest challenge is one of scale. Installing thousands of charging points in areas where they are most needed is not easy.
Many existing charging points in West Sussex are unreliable and not working. The first stage of the project is therefore to replace existing charge points that have become unreliable or are not working properly.
Why was Connected Kerb chosen as a partner for the project?
Connected Kerb was selected based on our future-proofed and cost-effective charging solution as well as our emphasis on community. Our infrastructure solutions, which are uniquely deployed with the bulk of the charging components sitting beneath the ground, are designed to last significantly longer than anything else on the market.
This design, with only discreet charging sockets above the ground, minimises ongoing maintenance and additional ground excavations, meaning uptime is maximised.
The charging points can also support additional smart capabilities in the future, such as, air quality monitoring, parking management, CCTV, road sensors, 5G connection, autonomous vehicles, route planning and power demand forecasting. These features, plus the long lifespan, improve the cost-effectiveness of the charging infrastructure and create a business case for installing it in more rural areas.
How is such a large project economically viable?
Importantly, revenue from commercially viable sites will support delivery in areas that are less commercially viable making it an equitable solution too. This substantially improves the economics of rural charge point deployment by making it more affordable to install, ultimately reducing costs for drivers and creating cleaner, quieter communities for all. The fact that this is a long-term contract, means that revenue can be clawed back as EV demand and usage rises.
What do you think the project will do in terms of improving EV uptake?
We always engage in a thorough programme of community engagement and have done with the residents of West Sussex. This is a real community solution – town halls, community groups, schools, not-for-profit social housing providers and village halls can access the contract meaning residents in a village who might not have pavement space can access one, say, at their village hall. Residents can let the county council know where they would like chargepoints to be located by using an online form.
This project will provide a blueprint for local authorities across the UK to deliver affordable, long-lasting, sustainable EV infrastructure.
It will play a major role in helping the 40% of drivers nationally without off-street parking to go electric and assist the UK in reaching its net zero goals.
Connected Kerb is one of the UK’s leading providers of EV charging infrastructure solutions which combine power and data at kerbside to deliver convenient, reliable charging and fast fibre connection. Connected Kerb work with councils, developers, fleets and other organisations to provide tailored solutions that will help to accelerate the transition to EVs for all people.
The company has installed 1,000 chargers in 2021 and expects to have 5,500 installed across the UK, with contracts secured for 30,000 more, by the end of 2022. By 2030, the company plans to have 190,000 chargers installed, worth up to £1.9bn.
In 2021 alone Connected Kerb has secured new partnerships for 10,000 public on-street EV chargers across the UK, the majority of which will be deployed across West Sussex and Kent. The West Sussex tender is believed to be the UK’s largest ever deployment by a local authority.
The company is proud to be involved in the UK’s first smart charging trial called Agile Streets. The project aims to bring cheaper charging to EV users using a business model where they can charge their vehicle when energy is cheapest, saving them hundreds of pounds a year.
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO is speaking on 14 June, Focus Day in:
8.15 – 9.40, Public and Residential EV charging panel
12.30 – 13.15, Robust public charging networks to service consumers and fleets Partner panel
17.00 – 18.20, Funding and Financing panel
Isabel James, Account Director and Ashleigh Braund, Account Director from Connected Kerb will be hosting roundtable discussions with participants on 15 June, Ambassadors’ Day:
15.05-15.50 Hybrid Presentation / Roundtable For Local Authorities
- How to manage power load leveraging the innovation project we’ve been part of, Agile Streets, presenting use cases for it
- Recognising the recommendation around accessibility and how to manage it / handle it.
15.50-16.35 Hybrid Presentation / Roundtable For Residential and Commercial Developers
- How to navigate electric vehicle charging challenges and gain an advantage in the process
- We’ll present a short 10-15 min case use about the Wichelstowe development that we work with Barratt on
The team from Connected Kerb will be exhibiting on 14 and 15 June.