People living in Wandsworth are in pole position to make the switch to an electric vehicle with the completion of a project to fit charging sockets to another 220 street lights across the borough.
The borough’s on-street charging infrastructure has been boosted as part of £400,000 project which means Wandsworth remains on course to meet its target of delivering up to 900 on-street charging points in total.
The latest 220 additional sockets have been fitted to lamp posts as part of a tie-in with electronics giant Siemens and leading EV charging provider ubitricity. The investment has been funded mainly via the Government’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS).
It gives EV owners two options in terms of connection. They can either use a special Ubitricity cable which also brings the customer’s own electricity tariff, or they can use a standard cable, scan the QR code at the charge point with their mobile phone or tablet and charge via DirectAccess, the pay-as-you-go-option.
The council will also shortly begin the process of assessing lamp posts in two pilot zones in parts of Putney and Battersea immediately adjacent to the proposed extension of the Mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This could see more than 300 extra sockets being installed in these two areas.
If these two pilot schemes prove successful, it could see lamp post charging extended to other residential areas in Wandsworth.
Using street lights as chargers doesn’t impact on parking provision because there are no restrictions on the types of vehicle allowed to use adjacent parking spaces - so they can be used by both electric and non-electric vehicles.
Another EV charging company, Source London, is also providing around 200 charging points at various locations across the borough. More are available at supermarkets and in local petrol/service stations.
And for those who don’t need to own a vehicle but want to enjoy occasional eco-friendly motoring, two new e-car clubs are now operating in Wandsworth – offering a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to car ownership, providing electric vehicles to hire by the hour, day or week.
These car club EV’s will use the Source London charging points and allow residents to hire an electric car by the hour, day or week. Wandsworth already has one of the highest take-up rates of car club membership in London with nearly 22,000 members and this will give local people a more eco-friendly option.
The number of electric vehicles bought by people living in the borough has grown from 127 at the end of 2015 to nearer 800 today – with numbers rising by around ten per cent every three months.
Current projections indicate that approximately 6,000 electric vehicles will be registered in the borough by 2025 – but with enhanced infrastructure and more charging points that number could rise to nearer 10,000. Existing analysis indicates that Wandsworth already has one of London’s the highest EV take up rates in London.
The council’s own fleet of cars and vans is also in the process of being replaced by electric versions.
Transport and environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “By providing the right infrastructure to make it a realistic and viable option for people to switch to electric we can reduce harmful vehicle emissions and help tackle London’s air quality problems.
“By creating such an extensive network of charging points we are removing one of the biggest hurdles facing people thinking of changing from petrol and diesel to electric.”