Portsmouth City Council to roll out street light charging for electric vehicles

Portsmouth City Council has become the latest local authority to take up street light charging as part of its electric vehicle infrastructure plans, which will see around 50 new charge points installed over the next few months.

Working with German firm ubitricity, the council has plans to roll-out the technology on 34 roads identified via resident requests, which determined where the chargers were needed most in residential areas across the city.

Those who requested a charge point will now be contacted by the council so the installation process can begin, although the initially selected locations may change subject to further consultation.

The three year trial will see ubitricity utilise the electricity provided by street light columns to charge EVs on a pay-as-you-go basis. Charging areas will be identifiable by a shared-use socket and a marked ‘electric vehicle charging’ bay.

Like London where street light chargers are also being installed, the solution has been selected to overcome the challenges presented by the lack of off-street parking for residents in the built-up city.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: “We want to encourage greater use of electric vehicles, so are introducing the infrastructure to support this. We hope this will give residents the confidence to invest in electric vehicles when the time comes to replace their cars.

“We have aspirations for improving and maintaining healthy air quality in Portsmouth, to reduce pollution levels and benefit public health. As more residents use electric vehicles, communities will benefit from improved air quality and will lower their carbon footprint.”

The deployment is one of Portsmouth’s initiatives funded by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). The city’s council was among the first four councils to apply to the government’s On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which offered £1.5m of funding for 2017/18. This has been increased to £4.5 million up to March 2020.

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