Charge point operator Connected Kerb is rolling out smart charging across its nationwide public network, following a successful government-backed trial last year.

Connected Kerb’s smart charging allows drivers to schedule charging during off-peak hours when energy is cheapest and greenest, which will help save users money, cut carbon and reduce pressure on the grid.

This is the first time scheduled charging during off-peak hours has become available on a public charging network.

The rollout, set to begin this month, will see the majority of Connected Kerb’s charge points – 6,000 already installed and 4,000 to be deployed this year – activated by 2025, acting as a blueprint for the UK’s rollout of public smart charging.

Connected Kerb’s new public smart charging offering will see lower overnight tariffs of £0.45 per kWh for drivers, which the company estimates could save drivers up to £222 per year on charging, the equivalent of 495 free EV miles – enough to drive from Exeter to Edinburgh. Collectively, this could see annual savings of £1.5bn for drivers by 2030, the company claims.

Announcing the launch, Connected Kerb said that whilst record numbers of drivers are making the switch to EVs every year, with a projected 11 million EVs set to be on the UK’s roads by 2030, costs remain a key barrier to mass adoption.

It added: ”Until now, 62% of drivers without access to home charging have not been able to benefit from these lower electricity tariffs at off-peak times. Connected Kerb’s smart charging rollout will make these significant cost savings possible across its public charging network for the first time.”

Ben Boutcher-West, Connected Kerb chief digital officer, commented: ”Public smart charging is the catalyst we need to create a fairer, greener, and cheaper charging network.

”We know that just under two thirds of people in the UK don’t have access to a home charger, which is why we’re committed to levelling the playing field between those who can access smart charging and those who can’t. 

”By increasing the speed of charging when energy is cheapest, we can now offer drivers lower-cost tariffs, maximise the use of green energy and take strain off the grid.

”Our rollout of public smart charging isn’t just a major milestone for Connected Kerb, but the UK’s EV transition as a whole, bringing our public charging network one stop closer to democratising the gap between those with and without off-street parking.” 

The first areas to benefit from Connected Kerb’s smart charging rollout will be Lincoln, Scarborough, Ryedale, and Sunderland.

Smart charging on Connected Kerb’s network will be available to users through its newly launched mobile app.The company’s latest app displays recommended charge points, as well as those in use, making it easier for drivers to find the most convenient charge points.

The app also features easy registration, simple payments, including both Apple and Google Pay, alongside extra tips and tricks to get the most out of each charging session and encourage best practice. 

To save money, users will be able to schedule a charge from 7pm onward, any day of the week through the company’s app. Once plugged in and scheduled, charging will begin at midnight and carry on until 7am or until the EV battery is fully charged. 

Bt charging between 12am and 7am users benefit from a reduced tariff of £0.45 per kWh, 22.4% lower than the average rate of the UK’s fast (7-22kW AC) charging network, providing considerable cost savings. 

The network-wide rollout of smart charging comes after Connected Kerb’s government-backed trial of public smart charging,known as Agile Streets.

Anthony Browne, DfT minister for technology and decarbonisation, said: “We want people to be able to charge their EV in a way that works for them, so it’s great to see public smart charging providing opportunities for drivers to save money. 

“This has been made possible by Government-funded research, which is now translating into new cheaper charging options for those charging outside their home – a prime example of how industry and Government can work together to support greener travel.” 

Juliet Davenport, Connected Kerb non-executive chair, said: “From heat pumps to electric cars, some of the UK’s biggest emitting sectors are electrifying fast. The deployment of smart charging solutions on the public network is a game-changer for how the EV charging ecosystem supports the national grid. 

”By allowing drivers - at scale - to charge up when demand for electricity is at its lowest, and energy is at its greenest, Connected Kerb’s network will play bring huge benefits in balancing the grid, and ultimately support a stable and sustainable clean energy future.”

This announcement follows the launch of Connected Kerb’s partnership with South Tyneside Council, with plans to more than double the number of public charge points in the North East.

The partnership, which marks the single largest rollout of chargers in the north of England to date, will see up to 2,100 charge points installed, providing a major boost to the UK’s target of 300,000 charge points by 2030.