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Lead delivery organisation: Samsung Electronics
Operational since: Trial ended May 2022
Project type: Public sector
Charging infrastructure on site: ac slow/fast, charging hub
Features on site: accessibility solutions

Project summary

Multiple electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure installations spread across several local authority (LA) areas in Scotland and England, trialling smart, demand responsive charging as a means of reducing costs for EV drivers without off- street parking.


Agile Streets was a pilot project active in East Lothian and Glasgow in Scotland and Hackney and Shropshire in England – that sought to provide a charging solution for less advantaged areas. The project aimed to make residential charging – whether on-street or in local car parks – as cost-effective to the user as having a home chargepoint. The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funded the project. Project partners included Energy Saving Trust, LAs, equipment suppliers, technology companies and research groups.


Currently, people without driveways face higher charging costs than those with driveways who can benefit from cheaper domestic tariffs for charging their vehicles. Agile Streets used smart charging technology to take advantage of periods when electricity costs were at their lowest, creating more affordable public charging.

To allow those without vehicles to access the project, Agile Streets included a vehicle subscription service that let participants lease an electric vehicle for the duration of the trial.

Project overview

The Agile Streets project installed 100 single outlet chargepoints in four local authority areas in Scotland and England. In the two Scottish LA areas, 22 units were installed across four sites in Glasgow and, 24 were installed in East Lothian – 12 in North Berwick and six each in two sites in Musselburgh.

The project was a real-world trial of the concept of ‘agile charging’ – charging flexibly in response to energy constraints and changing levels of demand.

The project featured an app that allowed participants to select between two types of charging. One was ‘Eco’, a typically slower charging mode that was cheaper and, through its time shifting of charging to avoid peak times, more environmentally friendly. Drivers could opt for the faster ‘Boost’ mode alternative when needing a quicker top-up.


The project had the short-term goal of demonstrating that electric vehicle users can save on charging costs by taking advantage of smart charging. The long-term aim was to find a way to minimise the high charging costs experienced by electric vehicle users who are reliant on public charging infrastructure.

Progress so far

The Agile Streets trial ran from November 2021 until March 2022. The 46 CPS designated for the different areas in Glasgow and East Lothian were successfully installed, and all remain in operation. Connected Kerb supplied the charging units. At the end of the project, feedback was gathered via a survey circulated amongst participants – electric vehicle users and LAs. A final report was released in November 2022.

Challenges faced

The final report outlines several challenges the Agile Streets team overcame throughout the trial. Identifying electric vehicle chargepoint sites was one of these. They wanted to make sure these weren’t concentrated in wealthier areas, but at the same time were in areas likely to see enough charging to provide sufficient levels of data for analysis.

Commissioning the chargepoints was more complex than for standard installs, requiring a higher number of site visits from a larger number of staff. It was also more technically challenging, and not all electrical contractors involved had the experience required for the work involved.

The sudden increase in the wholescale cost of electricity impacted the project’s cost recover, as the decision was made to maintain tariffs at the same level for the project’s lifetime.

Key lessons learned

Consumer feedback obtained via the survey indicated:

  • Agile charging is effective.
  • Electric vehicle users are open to changing their charging behaviour, ie actively considering the most appropriate times to charge their vehicle – particularly when there is a price incentive.
  • Chargepoint blocking – ‘ICEing’ – by non-EV drivers is detrimental to chargepoint access.

Feedback from LAs indicated:

  • Agile charging is a favourable model that LAs plan to incorporate in their future EV strategies.
  • Shifting local electricity demand on the grid from peak to off-peak periods is of interest to LAs.

Following the trial and surveys, chargepoints owned and maintained by East Lothian Council have implemented peak and off-peak rates, with peak times falling between 4pm-8pm. Other councils have introduced similar measures, with chargepoints owned and maintained by Aberdeenshire Council now offering a reduced overnight charging rate between 8pm and 8am.

Further information

The final report is available to view here.

Contact information