Electric car drivers will benefit from cheaper public charging after 'major milestone' announcement

Electric car drivers will benefit from cheaper public charging after 'major milestone' announcement

WATCH: Quentin Willson calls for more EV chargers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 18/04/2024

- 10:39

Updated: 18/04/2024

- 10:46

'Public smart charging is the catalyst we need to create a fairer, greener, and cheaper charging network'

Drivers across the UK could save a staggering £1.5billion by the end of the decade thanks to a new public charging initiative aimed at boosting the number of electric vehicle drivers.

Following a succesful trial last year, chargepoint operator Connected Kerb will be launching smart charging across its nationwide public network throughout 2024.

Thanks to the smart charging capabilities, drivers will be able to make use of the cheapest rates, saving them money and reducing pressure on an already strained national grid.

This is believed to be the first time scheduled charging during off-peak hours will be available on a public charging network.

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Electric car charger

Drivers could collectively save £1.5billion by the end of the decade


The rollout will begin this month and see the majority of Connected Kerb's 6,000 charge points activated to enable smart charging by 2025.

A further 4,000 chargers will also be deployed later this year, which could bring Connected Kerb within touching distance of Shell Recharge - the company with the most chargers across the UK.

Ben Boutcher-West, Chief Digital Officer at Connected Kerb, said: “Public smart charging is the catalyst we need to create a fairer, greener, and cheaper charging network.

"We know that just under two-thirds of people in the UK don't have access to a home charger, which is why we’re committed to levelling the playing field between those who can access smart charging and those who can’t.

“By increasing the speed of charging when energy is cheapest, we can now offer drivers lower-cost tariffs, maximise the use of green energy and take strain off the grid.

"Our rollout of public smart charging isn’t just a major milestone for Connected Kerb, but the UK’s EV transition as a whole, bringing our public charging network one stop closer to democratising the gap between those with and without off-street parking.”

As part of the rollout, lower overnight tariffs of 45p per kWh will be seen, allowing drivers to save up to £222 per year - the equivalent of 495 free EV miles.

Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of electric vehicle owners have been unable to make use of cheaper, off-peak charging as they do not have access to a home charger.

Joy Dennis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at West Sussex County Council said all drivers deserve access to cheap costs, regardless of their charging situation.

She said: "As EV adoption grows across the country, we're committed to ensuring West Sussex is a leader in the provision of intelligent charging infrastructure.

"This rollout is a genuine step towards a more equitable and sustainable charging system for West Sussex. Our agreement with Connected Kerb to launch smart charging capability across the county will act as a roadmap for other councils, increasing access to smart charging for all."

There have also been calls for the Government to act and cut the rate of VAT on public chargers to meet the same rate as home chargers, helping drivers save when plugged in.


Electric car chargers

Electric vehicle owners without a driveway are set to benefit from the changes


The VAT rate on an EV charger in a public place is 20 per cent, significantly higher than the five per cent rate for those charging at home.

People who have the ability to charge at home will also benefit from lower, EV-friendly tariffs and will not need to spend as much on subscriptions as they have less need for public chargers.

Data from Zapmap shows there are 59,590 charging devices across the UK, representing a 47 per cent increase compared to the same time in March 2023.

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