In 2019, West Sussex County Council adopted an Electric Vehicle Strategy to support carbon reduction and improve air quality. Our ambitious strategy had three important aims:
1. At least 70 percent of all new cars in the county to be electric by 2030. (Government policy has now changed so that all new cars will be electric by 2030.)
2. To put a sufficient charging infrastructure in place to support the vehicles predicted to be reliant on public infrastructure charging points.
3. To ensure a renewable energy source for all charging points enabled by us.
But we also recognised that 30% of drivers don’t have access to off-street parking and that it was vital to provide electric vehicle charging facilities for people who can’t charge at home. Our largescale network of accessible charging points will make it easier for more people to make the switch to low-carbon driving.
This pioneering ‘one county’ solution will ensure no one is left behind in the adoption of electric vehicle technology and that residents will have continuity whether they are charging near their home or travelling in a different part of the county. Connected Kerb is fully funding this ambitious project and will manage and maintain the charge points. This contract has recently been finalised and we expect the first charge points to be installed in 2022.
We consulted extensively on our Electric Vehicle Strategy and one of the key insights from this process was that residents wanted this to be a community land solution rather than a public land solution. This means that any charity, council, or third sector organisation will be able to access the contract and be considered to put charging points on their land. This both expands the reach of the project and access to charge points for users.
We hope this largescale project will provide a blueprint for other local authorities across the UK to ensure that all drivers can access affordable, reliable, and accessible electric vehicle charging wherever they live.
Talk to the Energy Savings Trust – They have a free programme with advice and guidance for local authorities. It can connect you to a lot of networks and it’s a really useful first step.
Allow time for the legal process – One of the biggest surprises in the process was how long it took to get legal and contractual agreement between the partners involved. It was a very lengthy process and it’s important to build time into your plan to reflect this.
Be ambitious – This has been a large and challenging project, but it was important for us to be ambitious and to be prepared as the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles approaches.
Electric vehicle uptake