A pilot scheme in County Durham will see people without a driveway be able to charge their electric vehicle at home.
Durham County Council is trailblazing a new product, Kerbo Charge, to help enable people without access to off-street parking to have an electric vehicle.
Council staff received a training session from Kerbo Charge in how to install the new product, which will see cable channels fitted underneath the pavement outside residents’ homes, with a liftable lid which will enable them to easily access the charge point.
The first property to be fitted with a Kerbo Charge was in Sunniside, Crook, as part of 30 properties in the county that have been selected to pilot the scheme.
This is the first time the product has been trialled in the North East, with the pilot part-funded by the council’s Climate Change Investment Fund.
Cllr John Shuttleworth, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for highways, rural communities, and community safety, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to pilot this pioneering technology which will make owning an electric vehicle accessible to more of our residents.
“We decided to be involved in the pilot after residents living in properties without driveways got in touch with us about seeking a solution to charge their electric vehicles. Their properties were checked for suitability before a programme of installation was planned and a contribution towards the install was agreed.
“County Durham has many terraced streets and properties without driveways. Whilst we have installed hundreds of publicly accessible electric vehicle charge points in every area in the county, this solution will allow residents to access electric vehicle charging at home, making it easier for more people to drive an electric vehicle and reduce their carbon emissions. It also supports our work as part of our Climate Emergency Response Plan where we are working towards reducing emissions across the county.”
Helen Embleton, whose home is part of the pilot, said: “I’m very happy to have been part of this pilot which came along at the right time for me ordering an electric vehicle. It really helped solve a practical challenge and I’m extremely pleased with the result.
“I had excellent communication from the team who kept me informed throughout the process. Thank you to all who made this possible, I’m overjoyed that it’s now in. I’m sure this will benefit many more people in the future.”
Other local authorities in the region were invited to see the first installation with a view to it being installed wider following the pilot.
If the pilot is effective, the scheme will be offered to all residents in the county with a suitable property who will be given the option to pay towards the installation.