Funding boost means more electric vehicle chargers in lamposts

Published: 21 December 2018

Wandsworth’s goal of becoming the best place in London to own an electric vehicle (EV) has been boosted by an agreement to provide up to another 250 charging sockets in lamposts across the borough.

This latest investment of £400,000 is helping the council meet its target of delivering up to 900 on-street charging points in total. Nowhere else in London is delivering EV infrastructure on such a scale.

Wandsworth has already announced plans to spend £3m to encourage people to switch to this more environmentally-friendly form of motoring.

Sockets have already been installed in the first wave of lamposts where residents have requested them. This latest investment of £400,000, funded mainly via the Government’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS), will pay for up to 250 additional ones.

On top of this the council is to install around 400 charging plugs in every suitable lamp post inside two pilot zones in parts of Putney and Battersea immediately adjacent to the proposed extension of the Mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The results from these trial schemes could see lamppost charging extended to other residential areas.

This means that approximately 650 lamposts in Wandsworth will be having sockets fitted to them. Using lamposts 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 providing a further 100 charging points at various locations across the borough, adding to the 100 already installed across Wandsworth.

And for those who don’t need to own a vehicle but want to enjoy occasional eco-friendly motoring, a new e-car club is being established 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 15,000 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 around 600 today – with numbers rising by around ten per cent every three months.

Current projections indicate that around 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 take up rates in London for electric vehicles.

The council’s own fleet of cars, vans and lorries is gradually being replaced by electric versions. All will eventually go electric as suitable vehicles become available.

Earlier this year Matthew Paterson became the first resident in Wandsworth to have lampost sockets in his street switched on.

The computer software developer from Mandrake Road in Tooting uses a plugin-hybrid to make short journeys powered solely by an electric motor. He said having lampost sockets in his street was “a game changer”.

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

Transport and environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “It’s becoming ever clearer by the day that the future of motoring is electric. All the major 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 will be outlawed within a generation. 

“It’s vitally important that all levels of government, including city mayors and local councils start providing the infrastructure that will be needed to keep people on the move.

“Here in Wandsworth we are determined to be well ahead of the game. By creating such an extensive network of charging points our goal 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.

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