Council hoping to convert lamp posts to electric car charging points

Lamppost charging pioneers Ubitricity has teamed up with Middlesbrough Council to bring a glowing Christmas present for EV drivers

Middlesbrough Council is bringing the perfect Christmas gift for EV drivers in the North Yorkshire town by looking to install charging stations into lamp posts.

To make things easier for electric car owners without driveways (you guessed it right, there are lots of them — in fact, almost half of the Middlesbrough population), the council is planning to set up almost 160 charge points in 90 locations across the borough which would function 24 hours a day.

The local authority recommended the plan through a report, which mentioned that the “lack of convenient charging options for those that park on-street is a major barrier to EV uptake”, reports the BBC.

> More new rapid charging sites in Yorkshire, courtesy of Osprey Charging

Incidentally, lamppost chargers are not the newest thing around, with Ubitricity, a Berlin-based company owned by petroleum giant Shell pioneering the installations and already the UK’s largest public EV charge point operator with operation across Europe, about to oversee the installation of the charge points in Middlesbrough, too.

Since commencing its operations in the UK in 2018, Ubitricity has installed almost 7,000 lamppost and bollard charging points in London, including the boroughs of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea, besides also working with over 30 local authorities.

The company also has self-funding (thanks to Shell, we assume), which means that Middlesbrough council wouldn’t be paying for the project, with Ubitricity bearing the costs for it partially, but most of the funding courtesy of the council securing the UK Government’s On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

> Midlands to receive “a substantial investment” for new EV charging points

However, as part of a 15-year agreement between the parties, the council would receive 5% of the fees generated. So it looks like a win-win situation for all, considering that in the report produced by council executive member for environment, Peter Gavignan, and director of environment and commercial services, Geoff Field, they said that the current infrastructure did not support the transition to electric car use.

The report said: “Many residential properties have off-street parking opportunities; allowing a vehicle to be charged on privately owned land through dedicated charging facilities.

“However, access to private driveways is limited across some areas of the borough, such as terraced house streets. Research has shown that lack of convenient charging options for those that park on street is a major barrier to EV uptake.”

If approved, the chargers would be located on residential streets with either no restrictions for parking, which are accessible for anyone to use, or in residential parking permit areas.

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