Electric vehicle home-charging trial launched in Hartlepool

Published Wednesday, 17th April 2024

Hartlepool Borough Council has launched a new trial to help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) across the town.

They’re installing Kerbo Charge through-pavement channels to enable residents with street parking to safely charge their cars at home and take advantage of low-cost off-peak tariffs.

The product tackles a big problem for Hartlepool residents who don’t have a driveway, as explained by local resident James Pratt who said: “The main problems I faced were cost and convenience. I had to plan each charging session, find a public charger, plug and wait for it to charge, and then the cost of charging was around five times more than charging at home. It didn’t make getting an EV very attractive.

"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.”

Resident James Pratt charges his vehicle.

Resident James Pratt charges his vehicle.

Recent data from Zap Map underscores the current reality of public charging. On average, a resident who can charge their car at home spends £680 annually, compared to £1,820 for those using public chargers - a saving of £1,140. Meanwhile, petrol car owners face an annual cost of £1,470. This disparity is particularly evident for the 40% of UK households without driveways, where the expense of public charging turns residents away from EV adoption.

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

This solution removes the risk of trips and falls from trailing charging cables across footways and the slim and shallow channel seamlessly integrates with the pavement surface, minimising disruption to existing infrastructure. As the channel is made from a high-strength thermoplastic it also boasts a significantly lower carbon footprint than metal alternatives and is not a target for metal thieves.

Kieran Bostock, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Assistant Director – Neighbourhood Services, said: “We are pleased to be working with Kerbo Charge on this trial which aims to make it easier and less expensive for residents who don’t have off-street parking to charge electric vehicles (EVs).

“Anything which encourages the take-up of EVs is to be welcomed, and this initiative reflects the Council’s commitment – as set out in its Net Zero Strategy and Action Plan - to tackle climate change by reducing its impact on the environment whilst also supporting local communities to cut their emissions.”

While Kerbo Charge is already available at various local authorities, including Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, and Nottinghamshire, 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.