New electric vehicle charging points switched on at Cambridge car parks

Cambridge City Council’s ambitious programme to install hundreds more electric vehicle (EV) charging points in its car parks has reached another milestone, with the official switching on of the first 15 publicly accessible chargers.

More than 600 new EV charging points are being installed at 14 car parks across Cambridge in the coming years, in partnership with Connected Kerb, one of the UK’s largest providers of EV charging infrastructure.

The programme aims to make it significantly easier for people in Cambridge to charge electric vehicles, with free parking available for anyone doing so overnight between 6pm and 8am.

Installing these new chargers forms an important part of the council’s Climate Change Strategy 2021-2026 [PDF, 4MB], which details how the council is tackling the climate crisis by working to reduce its own direct emissions to net zero carbon and by working with partners and communities towards the vision of a net zero Cambridge by 2030.

The new public EV charging points were switched on during a special event at Adam and Eve Car Street Park attended by the Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Jenny Gawthrope-Wood and Connected Kerb’s brand ambassador, former Great Britain rugby league international Martin Offiah MBE.

Another 55 new charging points have been installed and will be ready for use soon at Arbury Court (12 chargers), Campkin Road (12), Castle Hill (23) and Gwydir Street (8) car parks while hundreds more will be installed and come online as the programme continues. Queen Anne Terrace multi-storey car park is also in the process of having 39 chargers installed as part of the first phase of the deployment plan.

Under the terms of the innovative long-term partnership with Connected Kerb, the installation of new infrastructure will be at no overall cost to the public purse. The new chargers have also been designed to blend into their environment and to support future technologies such as 5G and air quality sensors.

With the introduction of substantial additional numbers of chargers the council aims to enable a higher take-up of electric vehicles from the local community as part of its vison of a net zero city by 2030. As part of the project, community outreach work will also take place in local schools, businesses and organisations to spread the word about electric vehicle charging.

The council’s Climate Change Strategy 2021-2026 [PDF, 4MB], details how it is tackling the climate crisis by working to reduce its own direct emissions to net zero carbon and by working with partners and communities towards the vision of a net zero Cambridge by 2030.

The council’s Climate Change Strategy sets out six key objectives for how the council will address the causes and consequences of climate change in Cambridge:

  1. Reducing carbon emissions from city council buildings, land, vehicles and services
  2. Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions from homes and buildings
  3. Reducing carbon emissions from transport
  4. Reducing consumption of resources, reducing waste, and increasing recycling
  5. Promoting sustainable food
  6. Supporting council services, residents and businesses to adapt to the impacts of climate change

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning, Building Control and Infrastructure, said: “It's exciting news that hundreds more easily-accessible chargers are being installed in car parks across the city and that residents can park for free in order to use them overnight. We want to help make it as easy as possible for people to charge their cars or make the switch to electric vehicles to help with the city’s goal of being net zero by 2030.  

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Action and Environment, said: “Our ambitious, long-term partnership with Connected Kerb is a really cost-effective way for the council to provide these new facilities, and as more chargers come online they will be another significant milestone for our urgent, ongoing work to tackle the climate crisis, reduce emissions and make Cambridge a cleaner, greener city.”

Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said: “We want to make charging as hassle-free as possible for EV drivers who live in Cambridge and visit the city. This project will offer a real chance to improve EV uptake, improve local air quality and allow anyone who needs to charge their vehicle the chance to just plug in and get on with the rest of their day.”