Surrey County Council says it will launch the largest rollout of public EV charging infrastructure by a local authority in the UK. The council is teaming up with charge point company Connected Kerb to place charging points at 1,500 locations across the county, in a move that’s costing the local authority up to £60 million.

According to the authority, the county needs 10,000 charging points by 2030, and it is hoping to play a “leading role” in achieving that figure with its eight-figure investment. In fact, the council and Connected Kerb have said they “expect to deliver” more than 5,000 charging points by 2027, including 500 “rapid” charging points.

The partnership will see charging points installed at 1,500 locations in Surrey, including on streets and in public car parks. To put that in context, the whole UK has just under 39,000 public charging points, although the government has set a target of 300,000 by 2030.

EV car charging

Surrey County Council says it hopes the move will increase the local demand for electric vehicles, increasing the number of chargers available per person. At the moment, the county has one public charger for every 9,000 inhabitants, but the investment is set to see that figure decrease dramatically.

Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for transport, infrastructure and growth, said the charging network was crucial to support electric car uptake in the county, and to help the council achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Nissan Leaf charging in London

“High-quality, reliable, and accessible charging infrastructure is critical to accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles across the county and serving the needs of all our local communities,” he said. “Surrey County Council has a commitment to be a carbon net zero county by 2050, and a large part of us achieving that come from supporting residents to make the switch to electric vehicles.

“Over the last two years, we’ve installed over 100 electric vehicle charge points in Surrey, and this has given us the opportunity to trial different suppliers and processes. We have an established relationship with Connected Kerb and this contract will enable us to expand our network of charge points and speed up the installation process, to provide services to our residents faster.”

Meanwhile, Connected Kerb’s CEO Chris Pateman-Jones said: “If one local authority can deliver such a significant boost to the UK’s charging network, just imagine what we could achieve by 2030 if every city, county, and combined authority was empowered to do the same. The recent Net Zero Review was clear – local authorities can become the driving force behind the rollout of charging infrastructure across the country, and our partnership with Surrey County Council is a case in point.”