New Network for Electric Vehicle Charging

Posted by: Kaye Russell on 14 December 2023 10:44

Major improvements to the electric vehicle charging network are set to be delivered across South Tyneside.

South Tyneside Council has entered a partnership with Connected Kerb, one of the UK's leading electric vehicle charging infrastructure providers, to deliver the largest ever electric vehicle charger rollout in the North of England, with up to 2,000 new charge points to be installed across the Borough.

Councillor Gibson welcomes plans for improved electric car charging.

The move supports the Council's efforts to reduce carbon emissions and become carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Neighbourhoods and Climate Change, said: "We have an extensive network of electric vehicle charging points across the Borough supporting people to charge their vehicles while out and about. This is just one of the ways we are working hard to drive down carbon emissions.

"Unfortunately, the existing network is unreliable and costly to maintain.

"This new operational model is a huge step change for South Tyneside. It will greatly expand our existing charging infrastructure, providing a more reliable, modern comprehensive system while giving us scope to expand the network to meet future demand as more people turn to using electric vehicles.

"The entire country is undergoing a massive shift in ways in which we travel, and we are committed to ensuring that South Tyneside plays its part. We hope the rollout will give more residents the confidence they need to make the switch to electric, whilst supporting our sustainability agenda."

The Council currently has 59 electric vehicle charging points across the Borough.

The partnership will see all of the old Legacy charge point units replaced with Connected Kerb's on-street chargers, with the addition of the new charging points.

Under the new model, Connected Kerb will be responsible for the management, maintenance and operation of the charging points.

South Tyneside Council is the only local authority in the North East yet to charge people to use the electric charging points, having offered more than two million k/w in free electricity since the first unit was installed in 2010.

One of the main changes will be introducing a tariff for electricity consumption, which is currently subsidised by the Council at a cost of £200,000 per year, having seen a 70 per cent increase in use and consumption between 2021 and 2022 alone. The move will also save the Council a further £20,000 a year in back office and regular maintenance costs.

The Council is currently negotiating with Connected Kerb over a modest pricing structure for users as well as the locations for the new electric vehicle charging points.

In July 2019, South Tyneside Council declared a climate emergency, pledging to take all necessary steps to become carbon neutral by 2030. The Council is on track having achieved its first interim target of reducing carbon emissions by 25 per cent (5,710 tonnes) by March 2023.

Councillor Gibson said: "Though the existing network is limited, it is extensively used, making faults a regular occurrence and leading to complaints about their unreliability. As a result, the pressure for the Council to maintain the existing network continues to increase.

"The new model will see Connected Kerb take over the management and maintenance of the network and the price introduction will bring us in line with our regional neighbours. "Providing better charging infrastructure will also support our green ambitions as part of our climate change declaration and 'Sustainable South Tyneside' strategy."

The 20-year partnership with South Tyneside Council acts as a blueprint for levelling up electric vehicle charging in the North of England, delivering more than a 150 per cent increase in charge points for the region in a single partnership.

The region currently has one of the lowest volumes of charge points out of any other area of the UK, making up just three per cent of the UK's charge points.

Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said: "We are committed to delivering a future where everyone - despite where you live in the UK - can benefit from convenient, high-quality charging infrastructure, and it's rollout of this scale that will get us there.

"To date, the installation of charge points in the North East has been slower than other regions, but this partnership demonstrates what's possible when the right partners come together - rapid delivery to the areas that need them the most. We know that accessible charging infrastructure is a power driver of EV uptake and we hope our partnership with South Tyneside Council will do just that."

The roll out is expected to begin in the new year with plans to install chargers at 20 locations over the first two years. Charge points will be installed across key residential, commercial and retail locations.

South Tyneside is just one of many areas across the UK to be working with Connected Kerb to deliver on-street, public charge points.

Further information will be available over the coming months at  Electric car charging - South Tyneside Council

Last modified: 01 March 2024 16:05