SWARCO eVolt is expanding the SWARCO E.Connect EV charging network with the addition of 14 Rapid chargers in Kent. The rapid chargers will be provided for registered taxis and private hire vehicles to help encourage further uptake of electric vehicles while supporting the local authority’s clean air strategy.
The new 50kW EV Rapid chargers come as a result of Kent County Council successfully winning government funding through the Ultra-Low Emission Taxi Infrastructure Scheme. Work to install the 14 Rapid chargers across six different districts has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Susan Carey, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Much thought has gone into the location of these extra charging points to make them as convenient as possible. We hope they encourage more people to make the switch to electric.”
While taxi and private hire drivers currently have access to the public networks, the additional points will boost the charging infrastructure available to them. Additionally, some Districts, where possible, are also considering incentives appropriate to the individual sites, to further encourage switching.
Justin Meyer, General Manager of SWARCO eVolt is pleased to see local authorities like Kent making the most of the funding that is available: “This builds on other SWARCO projects with Transport North East and Basildon and Rochford to support taxis, and like them, Kent County Council is building the infrastructure to make EV taxis more attractive and viable for drivers and operators. Some of the individual districts within Kent have given careful consideration into how best to incentivise taxi and private hire drivers depending on the type of district they are, and how taxis generally operate within that district. We are confident that it will prove to be successful.”
Each of the Rapid charging stations being installed and maintained by SWARCO has two charging points, offering simultaneous charging of two vehicles. To begin with, one point will be for the exclusive use of taxis and the other will also be open for public use. However, the uptake of electric taxis and usage data will be constantly monitored and reviewed, and the second point can be restricted to taxis only.