Electric vehicle (EVs) owners across Shropshire are encouraged to sign up to become part of the Agile Streets project and enjoy savings from on street charging.
Shropshire Council is supporting the switch-on of 24 new on-street Connected Kerb EV chargers, as part of the Agile Streets project funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The county’s charging points are in Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch.
Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets and the green economy; Peggy Mullock, a local Shropshire Councillor for Whitchurch North; and Connected Kerb brand ambassador Martin Offiah, visited the Brownlow Street, Whitchurch car park where the charging points went live.
The Agile Streets project intends to demonstrate the use of a smart metering system as a new business model to manage public EV charging sustainably and offering EV drivers a flexible charging schedule, normally reserved for those with home charging.
The project will run until May 2022, giving hundreds of local drivers the opportunity to benefit.
Once the trial is over, the 24 chargers will be handed over to Shropshire Council, providing much needed on-street EV charging infrastructure for future use, with the aim of increasing EV uptake ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles.
The smart chargers installed by Connected Kerb will be the first in the UK to integrate smart metering technology into public on-street chargers.
This cuts the cost of EV charging by as much as 40% for people who don’t have driveways – equivalent to savings of up to £290 a year on a Renault Zoe. Drivers simply download an app to charge as they go.
The Shropshire charging points can be found in the Severn Street Car Park, Bridgnorth; Oak Street Car Park, Oswestry; Abbey Foregate Car Park, Shrewsbury and in Brownlow Street, Whitchurch.
The Agile Streets project is delivered by a consortium comprised of Samsung Research, Connected Kerb, Octopus Energy For Business, SMETS Design Limited, Energy Saving Trust and the Power Networks Distribution Centre.
The project was awarded £1.5m by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to deliver the Beyond Off Street Smart Meter Electric Vehicle Charging programme.
Shropshire is one of just four areas taking part in Agile Streets nationwide, along with East Lothian, Glasgow and Hackney.
Cllr, Ian Nellins, said: “We have seen the growing interest in EV technology, as witnessed at our recent EVs event in Shrewsbury.
“There is a great deal of interest from motorists in our county, and we are delighted to be taking part in the Agile Streets project and opening up cost-effective charging opportunities to motorists who may not be able to access the best tariffs to charge their vehicles at home.
“Providing equal access to affordable EVs charging across the country is a key part of our plan to become carbon net-neutral by 2030, and assist in the ambition for Shropshire as a whole to become carbon net-neutral in the same year.”
Connected Kerb brand ambassador Martin Offiah, said: “I am really pleased that Shropshire is participating in the UK’s first trial of public smart charging — Agile Streets — which will allow people to charge their vehicle when energy is cheapest; that is, when renewable energy such as sun or wind is in surplus, or at lowest demand, such as at night.
“Connected Kerb solutions are unique in so many ways. The charging points are more than just charging points but can support future technologies such as 5G, IoT and air quality sensors. In truth they are the first ‘street-USB’ that we will see in the future.”
Image: courtesy newsroom.shropshire.gov.uk