New EV charging partnership launched

Kensington and Chelsea Council has joined forces with OVO and ubitricity to create a network of electric vehicle charging points in street lamps across the London borough.

Under the agreement announced today, 50 charging points will be installed, following a successful trial earlier this year.

The project will result in the largest charging network of its kind in central London.

In order to access the network, electric vehicle owners will have to buy a cable with an inbuilt electricity meter from the service provider, Ubitricity.

The charging points will be located next to pay and display parking bays and available for use 24 hours a day.

With a tariff of £0.165 per kwh of electricity, running an electric vehicle will be affordable as well as accessible, according to the local authority.

Drivers will also have to pay additional charges of £1 for each charging session and a charge of £1 per hour after the first 24 hours of being plugged in.

These additional charges will be collected by Ubitricity and be paid to the council.

This income will be used to help maintain the equipment and potentially fund future deployments and replacements.

The London borough will begin installing the new charge points this month and expects all the new charging points to be operational by the end of January next year.

The partnership comes as research by OVO shows half of Londoners are put off buying an electric vehicle due to a lack of charging facilities.

The lack and reliability of charging points has been a sticking point for potential EV buyers in other surveys, as well.

Kensington and Chelsea’s lead member for transport, Cllr Gerard Hargreaves, said there is a ‘growing demand’ for charging facilities on the London borough’s streets.

‘Retrofitting street lamps with charging technology allows drivers to conveniently charge their vehicles closer to home, while helping to tackle air pollution in London,’ said Cllr Hargreaves.

‘Lamp post charging is also more cost-effective and much less obtrusive as the charging points require no additional street furniture.’

OVO’s head of electric vehicles, Tom Pakenham, added: ‘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.’

OVO is now calling on people to register their interest for improved urban charging access in their area.

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Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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