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Central London’s largest lamp post electric vehicle charging network almost complete

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Image: Kensington and Chelsea Council.

The roll out of central London’s largest lamp post electric vehicle charging network is nearing completion in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, with over 50 chargers ready for use.

The Council is installing 57 lamp post charging points in total across the borough, allowing motorists to plug their electric vehicle directly into chargers installed in Council lamp posts.

Local residents can join the project between the local council, OVO Energy and its technology partner ubitricity by purchasing a SimpleSocket cable, which has an inbuilt meter allowing them to plug into any of the Council’s lamp post chargers.

The technology was trialled by the council earlier in 2017 and lead member for transport, Cllr Gerard Hargreaves, says the successful roll out of the new technology will overcome what many consider a lack of available charging points in London.

“One of the biggest barriers to electric car ownership is the perceived lack of on-street charging. The council’s new technology will help to remove these barriers by making charging simple and convenient for residents,” he said.

“The lamp post charge points are conveniently located next to pay-and-display parking bays and are available for use 24 hours a day.”

The project has been delivered using funding from the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which was launched in 2016 to offer local authorities 75% of the cost of procuring and installing selected EV charge points.

Kensington and Chelsea was one of just five councils to take advantage of the scheme, which offered £1.5 million in its first year, which recently prompted transport minister Jesse Norman and minister of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Claire Perry to urge councils to take up the scheme.

Speaking today about the lamp post charging scheme, Norman said: “A widespread and reliable charging network for electric vehicles is essential if the UK is to meet our ambition of ending the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.

“We have already made good progress with over 11,500 public charge points across the UK and I am delighted that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have taken up our On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme to improve chargepoint infrastructure in their area.”

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Robert Llewellyn (left) giving local resident Freddy Hamilton (second from left) his new SimpleSocket cable. Image: Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Actor, renewable energy advocate and last year’s host of the Solar Power Portal Awards Robert Llewellyn joined Kensington and Chelsea council yesterday (30 January) to celebrate the rollout.

“It’s great to see councils like Kensington and Chelsea leading the charge locally by investing in on-street charging that people can plug straight in to. Now’s the time for more councils to do the same,” he said.

The lamp post electric vehicle network is part of the council’s wider commitment to help improve air quality through its Air Quality and Climate Change Action Plan 2016.

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