LONDON – ubitricity is powering ahead with installing new electric vehicle charge points across London as part of the push to ensure cleaner air for the city’s boroughs.
To celebrate National Clean Air Day, the company today announced the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames would join the growing list of London boroughs where its smart charging sockets would be available. Ten new sockets have been installed for residents across Twickenham and Barnes.
In recent months ubitricity has been working with councils across the London Borough of Hounslow, Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to install dozens of sockets for residents with hybrid and electric cars where other traditional solutions have not been suitable.
The London and Berlin-based company also announced today the opening of a new London office as part of the drive to help improve the city’s air quality.
ubitricity has developed its unique charging points to fit inside ordinary streetlights. By utilising existing street furniture, this means there is no additional street clutter, costs are significantly lower enabling more sockets to be rolled out and there is minimal visual impact on the urban environment.
The model used by boroughs ensures multiple columns converted per resident, avoiding the need for dedicated EV parking bays and removing parking spaces from the general supply.
As opposed to fast free standing chargers, ubitricity’s solution is specifically designed for lower power charging for local residents and workers without access to off-street parking. They can now charge their cars anytime at any of the streetlight sockets being rolled out across London.
Richmond Council is taking part after agreeing to a new Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy last year to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in the Borough. The strategy outlines the Council’s commitment to provide a network of fast chargers in town centres and key destinations, and lamp column chargers in residential roads across the borough for both businesses and residents.
Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Peter Buckwell said:
“Poor air quality is one of the biggest issues facing London. We need to do everything we can to cut vehicle emissions.
“Supporting the take up of electric cars is a key priority for this Council. These zero or low-emission vehicles have the potential to reduce local air pollution but we have to provide the charging infrastructure if that is going to happen.
“I hope that as we continue to roll out more charging points, even more residents will start buying electric cars. They aren’t just good for the environment, they are also good for the pocket.”
Greg Edwards, Transport Planner at the London Borough of Hounslow said:
“The Council has faced a number of challenges installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in residential areas because of concerns around the addition of street clutter and the associated costs with installation.
There have also been challenges with implementing dedicating parking for electric vehicles, which we’ve found can cause friction between residents at a time when electric vehicles make up a small share of the overall market.
“We turned to ubitricity for its solution, which utilises streetlights, because it addresses many of these issues. Because the technology can be retrofitted into existing streetlights, we can avoid adding unnecessary street furniture to residential streets and since we can connect to an existing electrical supply we also avoid any associated civils work, which subsequently reduces installation time and overall cost.
“As part of our offer to residents, we have installed 36 charge points with 12 Hounslow residents participating in a dedicated trial and we will be installing 75 charge points by Summer 2019.”
ubitricity CEO, Knut Hechtfischer said:
“We’re proud to be able to add Richmond to the growing list of collaborating London boroughs offering smart charging options to their residents and electric vehicle drivers.
“Installing our smart solution into London streetlight poles means greater convenience on our busy streets, less street furniture on narrow pavements and cheaper costs allowing Councils to install more charge points overall.
“We want our drive to install more charge points across London translate into greater electric vehicle use and ultimately cleaner air for everyone in the capital.”