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London council considers chargers ‘on every street light’

Kensington and Chelsea Council is working with German tech firm ubitricity, to install a trial of 50 charging points in street lights in the London Borough. These will use ubitricity’s proprietary SimpleSockets technology. Pic: courtesy ubitricity 2017

THE LONDON borough of Wandsworth is to discuss turning every one of its 16,000 residential street lights into charging points for electric vehicles.

A meeting tomorrow night will consider the dramatic proposal, which would make it one of the greenest local authorities in the capital.

‘We are going to actively explore the possibility of installing charging plugs in all lamp posts on our residential streets,’ deputy council leader Jonathan Cook told the London Evening Standard this week.

It’s not the first London borough to experiment with charging points on lamp posts. Richmond, Hounslow, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea have all had trials which has variously thrown up a series of technical, practical and interoperability issues.

Kensington and Chelsea Council announced this week a partnership with energy company, Ovo, and German tech firm ubitricity, to install 50 charging points in street lights. These will use ubitricity’s proprietary SimpleSockets technology, so drivers will have have to use their own ubitricity cable connector.

As street lights are converted to LED, the current required to maintain the same illumination levels falls dramatically, freeing up infrastructural capacity to allow the charging of vehicle batteries.


  • Dave Franks, asset and infrastructure manager at Westminster City Council, will explore the technical and practical issues of residential street light car charging at LuxLive 2017 in London this week. Westminster was one of the first authorities in the UK to trial this approach. He’ll share his experiences of these early trials and look at the journey from funding options, resident feedback, technical issues, planning to implementation and feedback for electric vehicle owners. The presentation takes place at 1.30pm on Thursday 15 November 2017 in the Smart Spaces Conference, which is co-located with the LuxLive exhibition at ExCeL London. Entry is free to engineers and advisors, owners and operators of lighting estates in retail, education, healthcare, outdoor and public realm, industry, transport, highways, commercial, offices and public sector. However it’s essential that you reserve your place and in doing so you will automatically be registered to visit LuxLive. The Smart Spaces Conference includes sessions on lighting on the rail network, lighting controls on university campuses, smart cities and lighting, lighting’s role in security and surveillance and how embedded sensors can monitor for harsh weather such as snow and floods.