A new trial seeks to encourage more drivers to choose electric vehicles (EVs).

On-street, charging remains expensive and off-putting.

However, the new scheme hopes to reduce costs and revive the appeal of EVs.

Powering the public

Drivers in Hartlepool without off-road parking to charge EVs at home are being encouraged to sign up for the new trial.

Kerbo Charge through-pavement channels will be installed making it possible for EV drivers to take advantage of low-cost off-peak tariffs.

The trial follows similar initiatives in Stirling, launched earlier this month, and another in County Durham, which was announced in August, 2023.

Convenient and cost friendly

James Pratt is an EV driver in Hartlepool, who struggled with charging issues without off-road space at his home to charge his EV.

“The main problems I faced were cost and convenience,” states Pratt.

“I had to plan each charging session, find a public charger, plug and wait for it to charge”.

Public charging is both expensive and generally very slow. That’s if you can find a free charging space, and one that is working too. Costs for Mr Pratt are around five times more than charging at home: “It didn’t make getting an EV very attractive,” he says.

“Now that I have my Kerbo Charge installation I don’t think about charging anymore. There’s no fear of anything being stolen or damaged and I can charge at home as I like.

“Yes, you can’t guarantee a parking space in front of your home 100% of the time, but without Kerbo Charge, you can’t charge at home at all. In reality, I only need to top-up my EV once or twice a week, so it works out perfectly.”


Powered up

Research into EV charging costs show that, on average, a resident who can charge their car at home spends £680 annually. This compares to £1,820 for those using public chargers, according to Zapmap.

Given that around 40% of UK households have street parking, the cost of public charging creates a major barrier to EV adoption.

The Hartlepool trial, which is entirely paid for by the residents, plans to alleviate this inequality. It installs through-pavement channels at households, allowing residents to safely charge their EVs on the street. When residents want to charge, they insert their charging cable and the self-closing lid snaps down shut behind.

The solution removes the risk of trips and falls from trailing charging cables across footways. A slim and shallow channel seamlessly integrates with the pavement surface, minimising disruption to existing infrastructure.

Environmentally positive

Despite being made from a high-strength thermoplastic, it also boasts a significantly lower carbon footprint than metal alternatives.

Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director for neighbourhood services, said: “We are pleased to be working with Kerbo Charge on this trial,” says Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director for neighbourhood services. The aim is to make it easier and less expensive for residents who don’t have off-street parking.

“Anything which encourages the take-up of EVs is to be welcomed,” adds Bostock.

Kerbo Charge is already available at various local authorities, including Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, and Nottinghamshire. Furthermore, all UK residents living on private roads can find out if they’re eligible for a channel online at www.kerbocharge.com/enter-your-postcode.

Prices start at £999, inclusive of fitting and gaining approvals from the local authority.