Ubitricity, a charging network operator owned by oil giant Shell, is expanding the rollout of lamppost EV chargers in the U.K.
The company recently announced that it had been appointed by the governments of the Richmond and Wandsworth borough of greater London to install 1,050 public EV chargers, evenly divided between the boroughs. These 5-kw chargers will be installed directly on street lampposts.
Ubitricity electric-car charging cord
The lamppost chargers, which take about two hours to install, according to Ubitricity, will be located in both residential and commercial areas, providing curbside charging in places that lack the room for conventional charger installations.
Ubitricity, which claims to have a network of 7,000 public chargers in the U.K., also partnered with Siemens to build charging into a half-mile of lampposts in 2020. BMW also moved to help install charge sockets at street light poles in Munich. A handful of U.S. cities—including Lancaster, California, and Kansas City, Missouri—have also tried to tackle street-side charging in this way.
Ubitricity street lamp charging station
A U.K. study last year suggested this form of charging is one of the lowest-cost, lowest-CO2-impact ways to install public charging. It’s not limited to lampposts, either. In 2019 U.K. broadband provider Liberty Global announced plans to build chargers from cable boxes.
The latest U.K. lamppost charging initiative was announced last week, before the government said it would seek to delay policy shifting exclusively to plug-in vehicles by five years—a move that’s irked both automakers and environmental groups. If the delay goes into effect, the planned ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars will start in 2035 rather than 2030.