Kensington & Chelsea council has announced a project to install 50 electric vehicle charging points in street lamps across the borough to boost charging infrastructure for residents.
The work is being carried out alongside energy technology company OVO Energy and German technology firm Ubitricity, which is providing the SimpleSocket charging points which draw energy from street lamps.
The technology was trialled by the council earlier this year and is now being expanded to further increase Ubitricity’s electric vehicle charging capacity across central London.
To access the network, users buy a cable with an inbuilt electricity meter from the service provider, Ubitricity with access to one of two payment options.
This includes purchasing the cable for £199 and joining Ubitricity’s monthly subscription scheme which costs £7.99 per month and charges 15 pence per kWh for electricity used.
Or they can choose to buy a cable for £299 with no monthly subscription and pay 19 pence per kWh for electricity used.
The council will begin installation of the new charge points in November and expects all the new charging points to be operational by the end of January 2018.
Fitting charging points in lamp posts is seen as a more convenient way to deliver electric vehicle charging infrastructure, particularly in areas where there is a lack of off-street parking.
Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, Kensington and Chelsea council’s lead member for transport, said: “There is growing demand for charging facilities and a growing number of electric vehicles in Kensington and Chelsea. Most residents do not have access to off-street parking to charge an electric vehicle.
“Retro-fitting street lamps with charging technology allows drivers to conveniently charge their vehicles closer to home, while helping to tackle air pollution in London. Lamp post charging is also more cost-effective and much less obtrusive as the charging points require no additional street furniture.â€?
Tom Pakenham, head of electric vehicles at OVO said: “We’re delighted to support the expansion of this pioneering programme with Ubitricity and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council. With one million electric vehicles expected on the UK roads by 2022, it is important we continue to invest in technologies that solve the infrastructure challenges facing our cities.
“We want to remove barriers to electric vehicle adoption by providing innovative, simple and widely available urban charging solutions at a cost well below that of running a traditional car, and by giving people more control over their total energy usage. That’s also why we’ve aligned ourselves with the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, and will introduce a V2G (vehicle to grid) charger in 2018 that will enable drivers to sell energy to the grid from their electric vehicles – ultimately generating their own clean power.â€?