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Shropshire Council has switched on a smart charging feature on its installed charging points – making Shropshire one of the first areas in the country to benefit from the nationwide smart charging rollout.

Through a partnership with Connected Kerb, the council has already seen 174 charging sockets installed in residential areas across 27 locations in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch.

Connected Kerb’s new smart charging feature allows drivers in Shropshire to schedule charging during off-peak hours when energy is cheapest and greenest, saving money, cutting carbon and reducing pressure on the grid. This is one of the first times that scheduled charging during off-peak hours has become available on a public charging network.

Shropshire drivers can benefit most from Connected Kerb’s smart charging capabilities by scheduling a charge from 7pm onwards, 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.

The smart charging offering will see lower overnight tariffs of £0.45 per kWh for drivers. Thanks to these lower costs, drivers could save up to £222 per year on charging.

Current estimations indicate that by the end of 2024 there should be 275 EV charging points operational in the Shropshire Council area. Further charging points will become operational in 2025.

The project is being partly funded by a £1.5m grant from the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV). Shropshire Council is also part of a consortium of Midlands councils to have secured £39.3m of funding from the government for the commissioning and installation of more EV charging points.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, the environment and transport, said: “We’re working hard to make EV charging available for everyone, and I’m delighted that Shropshire Council is one of the first councils nationally to benefit from Connected Kerb’s public EV smart charging feature. This will enable drivers in Shropshire to schedule charging during off-peak hours when energy is cheapest and greenest, which is great news.”

Ben Boutcher-West, chief digital officer at Connected Kerb, said: “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.”