Hackney Council has signed a contract with electric vehicle (EV) charging management service Zest to implement and operate 2,500 fast and slow chargers across the borough, which would give it the most concentrated network of EV chargers of any UK local authority area.
This aligns with the council’s wider commitment to investing in decarbonising its transport system, with it preparing a further contract to implement 150 rapid chargers.
This rollout is set to take the total number of chargepoints in the borough to 3,000 by the end of 2026.
The local authority says the agreements are the first example of a UK council using its procurement powers to partner with the private sector to install thousands of new charging points.
Every chargepoint will reportedly run on 100% renewable energy, with a discounted rate available for Hackney residents through Hackney Light and Power, council-owned energy service providers.
Philip Glanville, mayor of Hackney, said: “Road transport accounts for 24% of UK carbon emissions and is a significant contributor to air pollution, which is why we want to support people to switch to EVs or car clubs – a key part of the goals set out in our new Climate Action Plan.
“I hope this ambitious plan for thousands of new charging points shows how local councils can be at the forefront of work to tackle climate change, lead innovation and help to pave the way for wider transport decarbonisation in the UK.”
The new network is designed to encourage drivers and businesses to switch to EVs or to new EV car clubs.
The new electric vehicle charging infrastructure will be installed at no cost to the council, with government funding and money from Zest being used to finance the scheme.
Robin Heap, CEO of Zest, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Hackney to help deliver on their bold decarbonisation strategy. Providing abundant charging facilities, and supporting car clubs to go electric, will make EV a more natural choice for people across the borough.
“Our role is to work with organisations that want to build bigger and move faster in EV charging, investing in high quality facilities and providing a convenient long-term service.”
The first of the new chargers will be installed in late 2023, with some 1,500 slow chargers being mounted on existing lampposts.
The 1,000 fast chargers (on 500 charging units with capacity for two vehicles) and 150 rapid chargers (on 75 charging units with capacity for two vehicles), which will be installed in parking bays so as to not obstruct pavements. Rollout is set to be finished by 2026.
New EV-only parking spaces will also be introduced along with charging infrastructure and every housing estate will be fitted with at least one charger, according to Hackney Council.