Connected Kerb is to install 40 electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the first phase of a new scheme in partnership with Kent County Council.
The scheme – lauded as the first-of-a-kind – will provide a blueprint for local authorities across the UK to deliver sustainable, affordable and accessible EV charging infrastructure to hard-to-reach UK communities.
All income from the chargers – which are being installed in Kent Parishes at sites such as village halls, pavilions and car parks from this month – is to go to the local community or be used to support the rollout and maintenance of further chargers.
Connected Kerb pointed to how installing public charging infrastructure outside of busy urban areas has traditionally been a challenge for the industry due to the lower grid capacity and fewer connections increasing upfront cost and lower footfall extending the return-on-investment period.
It is hoped that the scheme will give local residents, businesses and visitors the chance to charge in small towns and villages across Kent, with each charger to provide a 7kW-22kW fast charge and contactless payment via the Connected Kerb app.
The chargers are designed to last 20+ years, with the infrastructure itself located below ground with passive chargers that can be easily “switched on” by adding the above ground chargepoint to match consumer demand.
The chargers also feature additional smart capabilities that can facilitate air quality monitoring, parking management, CCTV, road sensors, 5G connection, autonomous vehicles, route planning and power demand forecasting.
The scheme has been financed from a variety of sources, receiving funding from the Kent Lane Rental Scheme, the Department for Transport, the parishes themselves and, for some locations, 75% of the costs were financed through the on-street residential chargepoint scheme.
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said that this project shows that the economics of installing EV charging in non-urban areas "is much more favourable than many believe".
"It is vital that access to public charging is equitable across the entire country and we bring an end to the EV charging postcode lottery."
Last year, Connected Kerb announced it was to rollout infrastructure to support over 130 EV chargepoints at a new 3,000-home development near Swindon.
It followed the company rolling out its wireless charging, having announced in January of 2020 it would be deploying the technology in London, the Midlands and Scotland across H1.