Three street lights in London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have been converted into electric vehicle (EV) charge points in the start of a trial with UK Power Networks and Ubitricity.
The installation allows two local residents to charge their vehicles from a street light near their front door, and receive accurate bills for their electricity use via their smart phone or home PC. Access to the charge points is managed with smart charging cables.
The trial could pave the way for greater EV use and tackle air pollution in London by allowing drivers to charge their vehicles closer to home over-night. In outer London, 33% of households have no access to off-street parking to charge an EV, and in inner London this rises to 46%1.
Councillor Tim Coleridge, the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for highways, said: “A growing number of residents have made enquiries about the availability of electric vehicle charging points here in Kensington and Chelsea.
“The use of street lights as charging points provides electric vehicle owners and users charging opportunities closer to where they live and work. If this trial is successful we will look at exploring other opportunities for using street lights in this way.”
UK Power Networks agreed to upgraded fuses at the first three points to allow more electricity to be safely drawn from the cable. Mark Burton, from UK Power Networks, said: “We are delighted to work with the Royal Borough and Ubitricity on a trial to allow more EVs to charge via street lighting columns connected to our network. This technology avoids the need to build new electricity network and makes better use of the cables, particularly in the daytime when the lights are switched off.”
In December the Department for Transport’s On Street Residential Grant Scheme (£2.5m), launched guidance for Local Authorities UK-wide to apply for funding for provision of charge points in residential areas, where there is a lack of off-street parking.
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