Switching to an electric vehicle is a great way to reduce your environmental impact, and could save you money!
Compared to fossil-fuel powered vehicles, electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain and cheaper to fuel. Learn more about the benefits on the Government's Go Ultra Low website.
Buying an electric vehicle
Most car manufacturers now produce a range of fully electric, or petrol-electric hybrid vehicles. There are a wide range of styles, sizes and models to choose from. You can check each manufacturer directly or use a search tool such as Go Ultra Low's car finder.
The government offer grants for people buying electric vehicles.
Electric business vehicles
If your business or community group uses a vehicle for transport or delivery, you could significantly reduce your carbon footprint and maybe even bring down your running costs by switching to a fully electric vehicle.
Our KentRevs electric vehicle trial scheme lets businesses trial an electric van for free to see the benefits for themselves. Learn more and apply for your trial at Low Carbon Kent.
Where to charge electric vehicles
If you have access to off-street parking then it's best to charge at home when the vehicle is not in use, perhaps overnight. Some electricity providers offer specific tariffs for electric vehicle owners so their cars charge when the rate is cheapest.
When off-street parking isn't available, you can use the public charging network at destinations like supermarkets, town centres or restaurants. View local electric charging points in ZapMap.
You can also rent charging time from others in the electric vehicle community, just like booking a private parking space. You can find available charge points on Bookmycharge.
Although the range of electric car varies from model to model, even smaller cars can handle at least a 100 miles before needing charge, enough for typical daily usage before a charge at night. Most new models now have a range of at least 200 miles.
Placing new chargers
Working with other councils
We're leading a project with 7 other Kent local authorities to place more charging points around Kent. 153 car parks have been put forward as potential locations and we expect to begin installations toward the end of 2021.
We are also working with parish councils, town councils, village halls and community hubs to install chargers in smaller communities around Kent. Learn more about our local EV charge-point project and how to apply for a charger in your area at Kent TravelSmarter.
Placing chargers yourself
Placing chargers on the road
You cannot place your own charger on public roads, or run charging cables across paths, as this is dangerous for pedestrians.
We're not currently installing chargers on roads or pavements, instead we are focused on off-street locations such as car parks and new rapid-charging hubs. We have been awarded funding from the government to support our off-street parking projects.
Electric public transport
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles has awarded us £180,000 to install 14 rapid dual-headed chargers in 6 districts for taxis and private hire vehicles to use.
We have begun installation and expect to finish by the end 2021.
Buses already contribute to our environmental goals by removing cars from the road, but we believe more can be done. We are working with bus operators to lead the shift away from fossil fuels, and toward cleaner vehicles.
We have helped to organise several electric bus trials including:
- an 'opportunity charged' electric bus in Greenhithe, Bluewater and Dartford
- an overnight-charged electric bus trial servicing Canterbury Park and Ride and some Maidstone routes
- an award winning electric minibus pilot in our Kent Karrier service.
We already have 36 hybrid vans in use and by 2030, our fleet will be 100% electric.
To help the switch we are making sure our properties have suitable chargers for staff and the public, as well as continuing to expand the rapid charging network in Kent.