West Suffolk Council has announced that it has appointed ubitricity, the leading charge point operator in the UK with a network of over 6,500 public charge points, to roll out a network of 100 public electric vehicle (EV) charge points.
Under the deal, ubitricity, a wholly owned Shell subsidiary, will install and maintain the public charging infrastructure. This means motorists will be able to use a new network of 5kW, 7kW, 50kW and 150kW chargers and pay by debit or credit card or by using the Shell Recharge app.
West Suffolk Council will roll out a programme later in 2023 confirming the planned locations for the charge points, which will be chosen for EV driver convenience and include town centres, leisure centres, country parks and car parks.
Figures published in January 2023 by the Department for Transport show that West Suffolk is already in the top 29 per cent of councils nationally for public charging points for EVs. This is in terms of both the total number of devices and for devices per 100,000 residents.
Having declared environment and climate change emergencies, West Suffolk Council is working towards being carbon net zero by 2030. It is also a key contributor to the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan.
In December 2022, the council published its EV Infrastructure Position Statement, detailing how it will support the delivery of EV charging infrastructure. Partnerships such as the one with ubitricity are seen as key to this work and to developing the EV charging infrastructure yet further.
Cllr Andy Drummond, Cabinet member for Regulatory and Environment at West Suffolk Council, said: “This sees a step change in availability of public charging points ahead of the change from fossil fuel vehicles in 2030.
“I welcome the collaboration with ubitricity and am delighted that the energy motorists are to be supplied is from the same company that buys the energy we generate from our council-owned solar farm and at competitive rates.
“In December we published a position statement on EV charging point infrastructure and to see this being delivered so quickly shows the pace we are working at to be carbon net zero by 2030.”
Toby Butler, ubitricity UK managing director, said: “West Suffolk council is making incredible leaps when it comes to EV charge point infrastructure, delivering a blueprint for other local authorities to follow.
“By expanding their network to provide convenient charging facilities for both residents and businesses, they are making the transition to EV much more accessible and helping give drivers the confidence to make the switch. We are thrilled to be working with West Suffolk to help them set a standard for other councils to follow.”