The London Borough of Lambeth and electric vehicle charging specialist Connected Kerb, have completed a project to demonstrate how affordable and accessible public EV charging infrastructure can be provided to tackle EV inequality and drive greater adoption among under-represented communities.
While EV ownership is increasing significantly, the transition to EVs has exposed disparities between different communities across the UK. For example, those 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 solutions for charging at home.
At the same time, these communities have the most to gain from the clean transport revolution, as often they are disproportionately exposed to the highest levels of toxic exhaust emissions and poorer air quality.
Approximately a third of residents in Lambeth live on estates managed by the council and a large proportion of drivers rely on public EV charging infrastructure. The project potentially acts as a blueprint that can be adopted at scale by other boroughs, councils and cities across Britain to deliver an inclusive and equitable EV transition, serving all members of society, including the 40% of households nationally without off-street parking.
“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,” said Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb.
“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.”
The project in Lambeth includes 22 on-street EV chargers across 11 of the borough’s housing estates to provide easy access to public charging, even for those without off-street parking. It forms part of the council’s wider strategy to work with multiple charge point operators 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.