ELECTRIC car drivers in London now have another way to top up their car’s batteries, courtesy of a new lamp post-based charging technology.
An initial set of 50 charging stations have been set up in the the central London borough of Southwark by charging point company Char.gy. They have been installed with funding from the Go Ultra Low City Scheme, which hopes to substantially reduce harmful emissions in the city and make London the “ultra-low emissions vehicles capital of Europe”.
According to Southwark Council, the lamp post charging points have been introduced in response to feedback from residents, who revealed they were “keen to have on street [electric vehicle] charging near their homes”. Citizen demand will also dictate where future lamp post-based points will be installed.
Char.gy claims the capital is a prime place to set up these systems as Londoners are disproportionately affected by a lack of charging facilities, with up to 78% of drivers in the city not having access to an off-street car charger, in contrast with the national average of 30%.
Lamp post-based chargers are potentially a cost-effective way of expanding the electric car charging point network, as it’s claimed they can be quickly installed and simply relocated based on local demand. Southwark Council also cites the lack of obstructive “street furniture” as another benefit of using lamp posts for recharging electric cars.
Southwark Council’s Richard Livingstone said: “We want to help people to make decisions that improve air quality here in Southwark, be that by walking, cycling and taking public transport, or by using clean fuel. These new charge points are making it easier than ever for people who live in Southwark to make the switch to electric vehicles.”
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, commented: “For drivers in the UK without access to off-street parking, innovations like lamppost charge points from Char.gy are a great option to ensure more people around the country are able to make the switch to electric motoring. It’s great to see the work Southwark Council, a beneficiary of the Go Ultra Low Cities Scheme, is doing to allow people without off-street parking the ability to charge at home.”
Welch added that other local authorities looking to roll-out on-street charging infrastructure can benefit from £4.5m of government investment in the form of the “Onstreet Residential Chargepoint Scheme”, until 2020.
London as a whole is also gearing up for a lower emissions future. An Ultra Low Emissions Zone running up to the North and South Circular ring roads has been proposed for 2021, and a ban on petrol and diesel cars from central London could come into force from 2025.