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Lambeth scheme tackles electric vehicle-charging inequality

Words: Huw Morris

A London borough has joined forces with a leading electric vehicle (EV) charging specialist on a groundbreaking project to offer accessible public infrastructure and tackle inequality.


Although EV ownership has skyrocketed by 117 per cent this year, the transition has exposed disparities between communities across the UK, with people living in urban centres, high-rise flats and council estates significantly less likely to have access to a private driveway and facing difficulties installing home-charging.

Households with access to a driveway make up 80 per cent of EV owners, with the remainder owned by those in houses or flats with no access to off-street parking.

The project, launched by the London Borough of Lambeth working with Connected Kerb, includes 22 on-street EV chargers across 11 council estates to provide easy access to public charging, even for those without off-street parking.

The move is part of the council’s wider strategy to work with multiple charge point operators to install more than 200 charge points by 2022. Lambeth aims to ensure that every household with no access to off-street parking is within a five-minute walk of its nearest charge point.

“For residents who need to use private vehicles, we recognise how important access to EV charging is to provide the confidence to switch to cars with zero emissions at the tailpipe,” said Danny Adilypour, Lambeth’s cabinet member for sustainable transport, environment and clean air.

“Projects like this help us do just that, while also helping us reach our net-zero targets and improve air quality on our streets, protecting the health of our communities.”

About a third of Lambeth residents live on estates managed by the council and most of the borough’s housing does not have off-street parking. This is forcing a large number of drivers to rely on public EV charging infrastructure.

The project is expected to act as a blueprint for other boroughs, councils and cities across the UK to deliver an inclusive and equitable EV transition, serving all members of society, including the 40 per cent 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,” said Connected Kerb chief executive Chris Pateman-Jones. “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.”

Image credit | iStock