Joint effort to unlock EV charging for all

Five local authorities are joining forces with the UK’s biggest electricity network operator in a bid to end electric vehicle (EV) charging blackspots.

Charge Collective, a pilot project being launched by UK Power Networks, will see it partner with local councils in Cambridge, Norwich and London to help ensure nobody is left behind in the EV revolution.

The aim is to ensure that everyone has the confidence to switch to EVs. By sharing data and expertise, the local authorities will help UK Power Networks to identify charge point blackspots. The network operator will then hold a competition to incentivise investors to bid at the lowest cost to deliver the priority charge points.

Taking a co-ordinated approach aims to make it more financially viable for charge point operators to create a wider network of public chargers.

UK Power Networks will collaborate with Cambridge City and Cambridgeshire County Councils, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and the London Borough of Redbridge. They will work to identify areas that have yet to install enough electric vehicle chargers and would benefit from improved air quality. These areas are likely to be in towns.

The scheme will develop a framework to measure the benefits of better air quality and reduced emissions that come with driving EVs. Last November, the Government unveiled its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution to enable the country to meet its target by 2050. Transport remains the biggest cause of pollution in the UK, being 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Ian Cameron, head of customer services and innovation at UK Power Networks says: “Electricity networks have a key role in enabling the uptake of electric vehicles so that the country can meet its Net Zero commitments. This project is going to help us discover how we can support our communities to get more charge points into areas that need them at the lowest cost to consumers, ensuring that nobody is left behind.”

Charge Collective will help assess how much of a discount to connect to the electricity network is required, encouraging charge point installers to invest in areas where the market is struggling to deliver today.

Rosy Moore, executive councillor Climate Change, Environment and the City Centre for Cambridge City Council says: “By working with UK Power Networks this project will enable residential to benefit from electric vehicle charge points. This will support the transition to Electric Vehicle use in the city and cut air pollution.”

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