Electric vehicle charging network project for West Sussex will be ‘largest of its kind in UK’

West Sussex could soon see the UK’s largest electric vehicle charge point deployment by any local authority.

Electric charging point
Electric charging point

The county council has signed a contract to provide a roll out of thousands of public charge points across West Sussex within the next decade.

Connected Kerb, EV infrastructure specialists, will fully fund, install and maintain all the chargers.

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WSCC says the contract will provide a blueprint for other local authorities across the UK to deliver affordable, reliable, and accessible charge points in their thousands to help the 40 per cent of drivers nationally without off-street parking to go electric.

One in four UK households intend to buy an electric car in the next five years, as the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles approaches, according to research by energy watchdog Ofgem.

However, there is currently only one public-access on-street EV charge point for every 52 EVs on UK roads. As a result, those without off-street parking make up as few as nine per cent of EV drivers today.

Run in partnership with Adur and Worthing, Arun, Crawley, Horsham, and Mid Sussex district and borough councils, charge points will be installed on streets, in public sector car parks and on community facilities within the next decade.

Chris Pateman-Jones, chief executive officer of Connected Kerb, said: “This project – the largest of its kind in the UK – personifies that future, helping residents to reduce their carbon footprint and making electric vehicle charging accessible to those without off-street parking.

“Forward-thinking partners like the West Sussex councils are driving forward the EV transition at pace – simultaneously providing a blueprint for other local authorities across the UK to do the same.”

Deborah Urquhart, WSCC’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, added: “I’m delighted to be taking another step forward to address this problem which will help residents take practical steps to address climate change and I look forward to working alongside Connected Kerb and our district and borough colleagues to deliver the network of West Sussex chargepoints.”

Andy Cooper, chair of the economy committee at Arun District Council, said: “Electric vehicles offer us an opportunity to travel without emitting carbon or having a negative impact on air quality.

“We want to encourage more West Sussex residents to make the switch but we know that lack of public charge points is preventing this.”

John Belsey, Mid Sussex District Council’s cabinet member for environment and service delivery, added: “I’m delighted that Mid Sussex will be the first council in the partnership to receive these new units and we will be installing 26 EV charging machines across Mid Sussex early next year.

“This first rollout is just the start and over the next ten years our partnership will install thousands of new EV charging places throughout West Sussex, making us one of the most connected places in the UK outside of London.”

Meanwhile, the first stage of the project for the Horsham district is to replace existing charge points that have become unreliable or are not working properly. These are located in the North Street car park in Horsham, the Six Bells car park in Billingshurst and the library car park in Storrington.

Chris Brown, Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for the local economy, said: “By increasing publicly-accessible electric vehicle charging points we can encourage wider use of electric vehicles in our towns and villages, working towards improving both general air quality for residents and overall environmental credentials, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

“This is a major step forward to help improve sustainability in the District and contribute towards our carbon neutral goals.”

Residents can let the county council know where they would like charge points to be located by using an online for at www.connectedkerb.com/west-sussex-chargepoint-network