The UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network is to be boosted by the largest roll-out of on-street charging ever by a local authority.
Surrey County Council and charge point provider Connected Kerb have announced plans for 10,000 new public chargers to be installed across the county by 2030.
Motoring organizations have expressed concern that the growth in the charging network is failing to keep up with the demand for EVs.
There are currently fewer than 39,000 public charge points in the whole of the UK, compared to an estimated 660,000 electric cars and 445,000 plug-in hybrids.
The project in Surrey is expected to cost £60m and will be funded by Connected Kerb, which charges drivers for using its devices.
Connected Kerb chief executive Chris Pateman-Jones said: “If one local authority can deliver such a significant boost to the UK’s charging network, just imagine what we could achieve by 2030 if every city, county and combined authority was empowered to do the same.
“Local authorities can become the driving force behind the rollout of charging infrastructure across the country.”
The council’s cabinet member for transport, infrastructure and growth, Matt Furniss, said: “High-quality, reliable and accessible charging infrastructure is critical to accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles across the county and serving the needs of all our local communities.
“Surrey County Council has a commitment to be a carbon net-zero county by 2050, and a large part of us achieving that comes from supporting residents to make the switch to electric vehicles.”
While an expansion to the charging network will be welcomed, drivers of electric vehicles – like their petrol counterparts – are facing additional costs due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has forced up energy prices over the last year.
The cost of using publicly accessible rapid and ultra-rapid chargers rose by 50 percent from May 2022 to January 2023, according to RAC research.
Charging a typical family-sized electric car with a 64kWh battery enough to cover around 188 miles using a public point now costs around £36. For those able to charge at home, which requires on-street parking, it costs just £18.
Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “Today’s announcement marks another step in the growth of our public charge point network, enabling more and more motorists to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“The UK is seeing hundreds of millions of pounds of private investment in EV charging across the country, with valuable support from the Government, and it’s great to see innovative British companies like Connected Kerb working with local authorities to deliver ambitious projects such as this one. .”