Kensington and Chelsea Council, OVO and ubitricity join forces to expand London’s first lamp post electric vehicle charging network

14 November 2017

Today, Kensington and Chelsea Council announce a landmark project with leading independent energy technology company OVO and Berlin-based technology company, ubitricity, to allow more residents to charge their electric vehicles by plugging directly into Council lamp posts. The agreement will fast track the installation of an extra 50 SimpleSockets – ubitricity’s pioneering electric vehicle charging points, which draw 100 per cent renewable energy from street lamps across the Borough.
The technology was trialled by the Council earlier this year and is now being expanded to further increase ubitricity’s electric vehicle charging capacity across central London. The project – which will result in the largest charging network of its kind in central London– will be welcome news to half of Londoners who, according to research commissioned by OVO, are put off buying an electric vehicle due to a lack of charging facilities.

SimpleSockets will be conveniently located next to pay and display parking bays and available for use 24 hours a day. With a low tariff of £0.15 per kwh of electricity, running an electric vehicle will be affordable as well as accessible.

Cllr Gerard Hargreaves, Kensington and Chelsea Council Lead Member for Transport, said: “There is growing demand for charging facilities and a growing number of electric vehicles in Kensington and Chelsea. Most residents do not have access to off-street parking to charge an electric vehicle. Retro-fitting street lamps with charging technology allows drivers to conveniently charge their vehicles closer to home, while helping to tackle air pollution in London. Lamp post charging is also more cost-effective and much less obtrusive as the charging points require no additional street furniture. The Council is grateful for the support from OLEV from their Onstreet Residential Chargepoint Scheme.”

Tom Pakenham, Head of Electric Vehicles, OVO said: “We’re delighted to support the expansion of this pioneering programme with ubitricity and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council. With one million electric vehicles expected on the UK roads by 2022, it is important we continue to invest in technologies that solve the infrastructure challenges facing our cities.

We want to remove barriers to electric vehicle adoption by providing innovative, simple and widely available urban charging solutions at a cost well below that of running a traditional car, and by giving people more control over their total energy usage. That’s also why we’ve aligned ourselves with the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, and will introduce a V2G (vehicle to grid) charger in 2018 that will enable drivers to sell energy to the grid from their electric vehicles – ultimately generating their own clean power.”

ubitricity Founder Knut Hechtfischer said: “We’re proud to be delivering on this industry first, partnering with OVO to deliver more smart charging locations across London and provide more freedom for electric vehicle drivers.

“ubitricity’s smart charging solution allows customers to use their energy supplier when charging, rather than billing being decided by the charge point. This puts customers in the drivers’ seat when choosing where their electricity comes from, including 100 per cent renewable sources.”

OVO is now calling on people to register their interest for improved urban charging access in their area here: