Over 700 lamp post charging points are to be installed in the London borough of Wandsworth after councillors unanimously agreed to deliver the project and make electric vehicle ‘the norm, not the exception’.
Members of the community services scrutiny committee voted through the plans, along with eco-friendly electric car club, which will see at least 350 electric vehicle charging lamp posts installed on borough streets. These will be offered on request to residents who have already bought or are about to purchase a new electric car.
The number of electric vehicles registered in Wandsworth has grown from 127 at the end of 2015 to well over 400, a figure which has been rising by as much as 10% every three months.
Charging plugs will also be installed in every suitable lamp post within two pilot zones – around 150 in parts of Thamesfield ward and around 240 in a large area of Shaftesbury ward in Battersea. The results from these trial schemes will be used to see if lamp post charging can be extended to other residential areas.
The council’s transport and environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “I’m pleased colleagues agreed these plans last night. Our aim is to improve air quality and help shift our residents’ preferred mode of transport to environmentally-friendly options.
“We know that we need to play our part by removing barriers to choosing cleaner travel. That’s why we want people buying an electric vehicle to be able to charge it, and those wanting to hire a car to be able to choose electric.”
Up to another 120 Source London car charging points are planned to be installed at various locations across the borough, adding to the 99 that are already in use at 33 separate places in Wandsworth.
The council, which won funding under the Go Ultra Low Cities scheme last year for the project, hopes to roll out the chargers as soon as possible, once procurement procedures and technology providers have been selected.
Lamp post charging is rapidly becoming an attractive option for local authorities to provide EV charging for those in highly urban areas such as London where many drivers lack off-street charging.
Kensington and Chelsea council, which recently announced the near-completion of central London’s largest lamp post electric vehicle charging network, has also said that lamp post chargers offer a more cost-effective and “much less obtrusive” option for charging by removing the need for additional street infrastructure.