Lambeth to host demonstration project to improve access to public EV charging


The London Borough of Lambeth has worked with Connected Kerb, an EV charging firm, to demonstrate how charging infrastructure can be introduced to increase EV adoption that isn’t dependent on off-street parking and charging.

In the UK, the uptake of EV registrations has increased by 117% compared to last year, according to SMMT vehicle data. However, there are currently around 34 EVs on the road for every public access on-street charger and research from Centrica has revealed that councils are planning to install just 35 on-street chargers up to 2025. Additionally, 126 local authorities do not have public plans to increase charger availability.

The new demonstration project aims to increase charging options for Lambeth residents, especially those living in 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.

Currently, households that have access to a driveway account for around 80% of EV owners, according to Zap-Map data. In Lambeth, around one-third of residents live on estates managed by the council, and the majority of housing does not have off-street parking.

The project will introduce 22 on-street EV chargers across 11 council estates in the Borough to provide access for those without off-street parking. It forms part of the council’s plan to install more than 200 chargepoints 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.

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “London is leading the way in EVs – thanks to the GLA, TfL and boroughs have been working together and have delivered 7,000 points across the city, accounting for 30% of all charge points in the UK – but we must ensure no community is left behind in the transition.

“Equal access to public charging is a key step towards a fair switch to clean transport and vital if we are to meet our ambition of being a zero-carbon city by 2030. Connected Kerb was the winner of the Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge on electric vehicles (EV) in 2018, where they worked with National Grid to successfully trial first-of-a-kind EV charging bays in London. Projects like this are a great example for the rest of London and the UK.”

Public help

Each of Connected Kerb’s chargers will provide a 7kW fast charge and the project will act as a blueprint that can hopefully be replicated across other areas of the UK to boost EV uptake.

Road transport is the biggest cause of air pollution in Lambeth, accounting for more than 50% of its emissions. Alongside EV integration, the council is aiming to incentivise more cycling and increased public transport use.

The Government’s efforts to decarbonise transport are focusing too much on EVs and could fail to provide affordable and clean transport alternatives that cut overall car use, new IPPR analysis has found.

IPPR analysis of the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget advice suggests that efforts to decarbonise road transport through the uptake of EVs could deliver an 11% increase in car traffic by 2050 and a 28% increase in car ownership. The analysis expresses concern about the resources required to accommodate the 28% increase in car ownership – equivalent to around 43.6 million vehicles.

Instead, the IPPR is calling for transport to be decarbonised in line with the net-zero target in a way that encourages greater uptake of public transport, cycling and walking.

Matt Mace

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