The swanky London borough of Kensington and Chelsea has announced a project, in partnership with OVO Energy and ubitricity, to install EV charging points in lamp posts. The neighborhood council tested the technology earlier this year, and now plans to install 50 of ubitricity’s SimpleSockets in council-owned street lamps.
SimpleSockets will be located next to pay-and-display parking bays, and will be available for use 24/7. Users must buy a cable with a built-in electricity meter from ubitricity. There are a couple of pricing options, which include some combination of a monthly subscription fee, a fee for each charging session, and a per-kWh charge for the electricity used (fortunately, Kensington and Chelsea is one of the wealthiest regions of the UK). The council will use the income to help maintain the equipment.
The council expects all the new charging points to be operational by the end of January.
“There is growing demand for charging facilities and a growing number of electric vehicles in Kensington and Chelsea,” said Council Member Gerard Hargreaves. “Most residents do not have access to off-street parking. Retro-fitting street lamps with charging technology allows drivers to conveniently charge their vehicles closer to home.”
“ubitricity’s smart charging solution allows customers to use their energy supplier when charging, rather than billing being decided by the charge point,” said ubitricity founder Knut Hechtfischer. “This puts customers in the driver’s seat when choosing where their electricity comes from, including 100% renewable sources.”