Landmark moment for electric vehicles with first lamp post chargers switched on

Published: Friday 16th March 18

The first of a borough-wide network of electric vehicle chargers fitted to lamp posts have now been switched on and are being used by Wandsworth residents.

This week 15 lamp posts are having EV charging plugs fitted to them where residents have electric cars and who first requested them.

Another 230 are programmed to be installed across the borough later this year to support residents who already own, or are in the process of purchasing, an electric vehicle.

Tooting resident Matthew Paterson can now use a lampost charger in his street

The installations are the first phase of a far-reaching council initiative to install charging equipment borough-wide as part of a £3m programme aimed at encouraging greater take-up of this eco-friendly form of motoring.

As well as the 230 “on demand” lamp posts the council is also:

• Installing a further 380 charging plugs in lamp posts within two pilot zones – in Putney (149) and Battersea (231) – to gauge local demand and encourage more people to go electric. The results from these trial schemes could see this key infrastructure extended to other areas.

• Providing another 120 Source London car charging points at various locations across the borough, adding to the 99 already in use at 33 separate places in Wandsworth.

• The establishment of a new e-car club in Wandsworth – offering a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to car ownership, providing electric vehicles to hire by the hour, day or week.

The number of electric vehicles registered in Wandsworth has grown from 127 at the end of 2015 to 408 today – with numbers rising by around ten per cent every three months.

Current projections indicate that some 5,500 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 had one of the highest take up rates in London for electric vehicles.

Cllr Cook with Tooting resident Matthew Paterson who said: "This is a game-changer."

One resident benefiting from this week’s installation is Matthew Paterson, a computer software developer from Mandrake Road in Tooting who became the first resident in Wandsworth to have lamp post EV sockets in his street switched on.

Matthew owns a plugin-hybrid and makes relatively short journeys powered solely by its electric motor. He can now use any of three new lamp post charging points near his home.

He said: "This is a game-changer. Until now, in order to drive fully-electric I have had to travel half a mile to the nearest charging point, walk back home and then return again a few hours later to pick it up on a regular basis. It gave me plenty of exercise but was a drain on my time.

“Having local charging points virtually on our doorsteps makes owning an EV practical for everyone who lacks off-street parking; I'm sure that this new infrastructure will encourage others nearby to follow suit and 'go electric'."

Introducing lamp post charging points has no impact on parking provision in the borough. 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.

Transport and environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “This is a landmark moment and demonstrates our commitment to providing the types of infrastructure that will soon be required to keep people on the move.

“Here in Wandsworth we are planning to be well ahead of the game.

“It’s now undeniable that the future of motoring is electric. All the major car manufacturers have signalled they’ll soon be phasing out diesel and petrol engines while the Government has also announced that sales of new petrol and diesel cars is to be outlawed within a generation. 

“By creating such an extensive network of charging points our aim is to remove one of the biggest hurdles facing people when they begin to think about the feasibility of changing from petrol and diesel to electric.

“This is an ambitious programme of change which has the potential to achieve a real improvement in air quality. We’ve already done a lot to tackle pollution in Wandsworth and these projects will help us do even more.”

The lampost charging sockets are being installed by leading tech firm ubitricity. Its founder Knut Hechtfischer said: “We’re delighted to be working with Wandsworth to help its residents charge conveniently right outside their homes.

“Up to 85 per cent of residents in some areas of London do not have access to off-street parking, this was previously seen as a real barrier to EV uptake. We hope lamp post charging can play its part in promoting EV ownership.”

Register your interest in having a charging point near your home.

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Recent comments

Any lamppost charging points in SW18 1EP?
Brian Hutchinson

21 June 2018

I think this is a great initiative, especially because I just bought an electric car. The problem is that I registered my interest by following the link provided at the end of the article but I haven't heard back for 2 weeks. Is the council serious about this or it was just a publicity stunt.
Claudio David

5 June 2018

Why are such a large number of electric parking lamposts being installed? It appears that it is almost one per owner and yet the transition to electric vehicles is not commonplace yet. I think this initiative is way too early and will impact negatively on owners of petrol or diesel cars leaving less parking spaces for ordinary car owners to use.
Alex Bourn

18 March 2018

Great to see this rolling out. How much does it cost to use? Can anyone use these? And how do we access it?
Dermot Jones @ElectricVanMan

18 March 2018

Helpful information. Fortunate me I discovered your website by accident, and I am stunned why this coincidence did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

18 March 2018

Great initiative
Brian Devlin

17 March 2018

Can a thief unplug and steal the electric cable? Looks very vulnerable and expensive to replace.

17 March 2018

What on earth is a "lampost"? The word is lamp-post as it's a post with a lamp on top. Lampost doesn't even appear in the dictionary.
Mark Phillips

16 March 2018

I live in flats so can’t commit to purchasing an electric car unless I know these chargers will be installed in my street. How will that happen if you are only taking owners and in progress buyers into account?
Oliver Sinclair

16 March 2018

How can I get one installed in my street. My electric car is arriving in June.

16 March 2018