Market stallholders in Pimlico, London, will get their power from repurposed EV charging technology installed in street bollards.
The initiative by Westminster City Council and EV charging company Ubitricity was installed during extensive renovation of Tachbrook Street Market. WSP designed the electrical system and analysed the power demand of the traders. Ubitricity, part of the Shell Group, reconfigured the bollards into waterproof outdoor electricity points.
The bollards are simple to operate. Stallholders use a bespoke cable and pay for their electricity through a QR code with a receipt emailed at the end of each day. The 24 charge points each deliver 3.6kW of renewable energy at 16 amp / 230 Volts – enough power, for example to power a rice cooker, large display warmer or two panini toasters.
The council says the new bollards produce less air and noise pollution than the previous portable generators, and the improved layout of the market has created more space for shoppers.
Councillor Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning, said: “The new system is fairer and easier for traders, as they only pay for the electricity they use and for some that could mean that they pay less than £1 per hour. Additionally, the green energy supplied by these bollards will contribute to Westminster achieving its zero carbon goals.”
Dan Bentham Managing Director UK of Ubitricity added: “This is an exciting and progressive development of utilising street infrastructure. Previously our compact and discreet technology was only used to recharge electric cars, this now shows the versatility and scalability of this infrastructure. By eliminating generators and using renewable energies it provides further options for businesses and councils to consider as the UK moves forward with its target to reach net zero target.”