First electric charger in Hackney’s ‘country-leading rollout’ installed in Hoxton

Hackney Mayor Caroline Woodley, Zest CEO Robin Heap, and transport chief Cllr Mete Coban open the network’s first charger. Photograph: Hackney Council

The first of 2,500 new electric vehicle chargers in Hackney has been installed in Hoxton – marking the beginning of one of the UK’s biggest rollouts.

The council has partnered with energy firm Zest to create a borough-wide network that is designed to ensure residents have plentiful access to high-quality chargers.

Decarbonising Hackney’s transport system is a cornerstone of the Town Hall’s climate plans, and it is hoped that the charging network will help in those efforts.

Cllr Mete Coban, cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, said: “The switch to electric vehicles (EVs) will help tackle pollution and create a greener, healthier Hackney.

“While we’re proud that Hackney has one of the highest proportions of people walking, cycling and taking public transport in London, this country-leading rollout will help those who need to drive to switch to EVs.

“The council has used its procurement power to do this in a way that works for Hackney, with chargers placed in lampposts or in parking bays, not the pavement, and by ensuring that all our estates and neighbourhoods benefit from the rollout.”

The first charger, which is at Follingham Court, is one of 830 lower power chargers – ideal for overnight plug-ins – that are set to be introduced this year as part of the wider rollout.

Another 670 of the lower power chargers will arrive by 2026, and 1,000 freestanding chargers, capable of topping up a battery in a few hours, will also be installed within two years.

Ten per cent of the network will be on council estates, with the remaining chargers spread evenly across the borough.

Private firm Zest is funding and operating all of the new chargers – backed by a government-sponsored fund created to scale up public EV charging infrastructure in the UK.

All of the chargers will use 100 per cent renewable energy.

The council expects to agree a separate deal for the installation of 150 rapid chargers in the coming months.

In 2026, Hackney is expected to have the densest charging network of anywhere in the UK, with 3,000 charge points in a space of seven square miles.

More than 2,000 local residents have requested electric chargers near where they live, according to the Town Hall.

Anyone with an EV permit in the borough will be offered reduced charging tariffs through the council’s energy firm, Hackney Light and Power.

The Town Hall also plans to keep pavements free of charging infrastructure to maintain accessibility for pedestrians.

Zest CEO Robin Heap said: “The sheer scale of this project shows what bold thinking and public-private partnership can achieve. I see this as more than a project – it is a blueprint for the next wave of EV infrastructure.

“The social equity built into the project means that people right across the borough will get access to EV infrastructure.”

Heap has a message for all local authorities, especially those receving funding for EV infrastructure:  “Look at the scale of ambition here in Hackney and ask yourself, ‘What more could I do?'”