London lamp posts turned into electric car charging points

Fifty new electric vehicle charging points are to be installed on London lamp posts following a successful trial earlier this year.

Kensington and Chelsea Council has signed an agreement with charging and billing solutions provider Ubitricity and energy company OVO for the installation of 50 SimpleSockets, which draw 100% renewable energy from street lamps across the borough.

The sockets will be located next to ‘pay and display’ parking bays and will have a tariff of £0.15 per kwh of electricity.

Research commissioned by OVO found that half of Londoners are put off buying an electric vehicle due to a lack of charging facilities.

Cllr Gerard Hargreaves, lead member for transport at Kensington and Chelsea Council, 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.”

To access the network, users will have to buy a cable with an inbuilt electricity meter from Ubitricity, with two pricing options of £199 and £299.

There will also be additional charges of £1 for each charging session and £1 per hour after the first 24 hours of being plugged in — this is to stop people leaving their vehicle plugged in longer than they need to. These charges will go to the local council and will be used to help maintain the equipment and potentially fund future deployments and replacements.

The new charge points are expected to be fully operational by the end of January 2018.

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