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Agile Streets project leads charge to smarter future

Lucky non-EV users can get a 50% Onto discount in the first UK trial of EV smart charging.             

In an increasingly connected world where ‘always-on' devices run our lives be they smart phones, Apple watches or a Fitbit, the demand for convenient charging facilities is soaring. As electric vehicle uptake improves – and it is, with UK registrations up 139% in 2021 compared to last year already - not only will EV users require more efficient charge points but also more intuitive ones. Connected Kerb is proud to be involved in the UK’s first smart charging scheme and the Agile Streets project which aims to save hundreds of pounds a year for EV users and support the green revolution. 

What is the Agile Streets Project? 

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), 100 new on-street Connected Kerb EV chargers will be installed as part for the project on the streets of East Lothian, Glasgow, Hackney and Shropshire. In the UK, about  40% of people do not have any off-street EV charging options like a driveway, highlighting the critical need for on-street residential infrastructure and options that are cheaper than current public charging points.  

The Agile Streets project intends to demonstrate the use of a smart metering system as a new business model to manage public EV charging sustainably, incentivising EV drivers to allow a flexible charging schedule, normally reserved for those with home charging. Local residents who have not yet gone electric but wish to participate in the scheme, can still sign up to be selected to take part by accessing an electric car from Onto, an electric car subscription service, offering up to 50% off for the first 2 months. 

The trial will run from late October 2021 until May 2022, giving hundreds of local drivers the opportunity to benefit. Once the trial is over, the 100 chargers will be handed over to the local councils, providing much needed on-street EV charging infrastructure for future use, with the aim of increasing EV uptake ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. 

The Agile Streets project is delivered by a consortium comprised of Samsung Research, Connected Kerb, Octopus Energy For Business, SMETS Design Limited, Energy Saving Trust and the Power Networks Distribution Centre. The project was awarded £1.5m to deliver the Beyond Off Street Smart Meter Electric Vehicle Charging programme.   

 How does smart charging work? 

 Smart metering allows EVs to schedule charging at times when energy prices are cheapest, such as overnight when demand is low or on sunny and windy days when there is an abundance of supply due to additional solar and wind energy. This reduces emissions and keeps costs low for drivers.  

Once registered, drivers will be able to take advantage of the scheme in three simple steps: 

  1. Download the Connected Kerb app – Use the Connected Kerb app to locate a local chargepoint that offers smart metering technology. 
  2. Plug in and set your time – Let the app know what time you need your car to be charged by. 
  3. Choose ‘ECO’ charge – Samsung’s algorithm will activate the charger at times when electricity is cheapest and your car will be charged by the time you need it, saving you up to 40% on the cost of charging. 

The smart metering network uses a secure, dedicated system and smart meters have been designed in consultation with the UK's top security experts from industry and Government, including the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of GCHQ. 

What are the benefits of smart charging? 

 Convenience: By telling the app what time you need the car charged by, drivers will always have enough power to drive away when needed.  

Cost savings: Drivers could cut the cost of charging by around 40% – equivalent to saving around £290 a year on a Renault Zoe. 

Reducing inequality: Unlike those who can charge at home, drivers without off-street parking cannot benefit from smart energy tariffs which shave hundreds of pounds off the cost of charging every year. This creates significant inequality between road users, as outlined in a report commissioned by the UK Government.

Sign up today  

Participating councils in Agile Streets include East Lothian, Glasgow City, Hackney and Shropshire, all of which were selected due to high demand for on-street charging infrastructure. If you live in one of these areas,  simply sign up at www.agilestreets.com. A selection process will then take place to ensure applicants live and/or work in the local area.