London Borough of Wandsworth

London borough to consider installing EV charging points in every lamp post

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Representatives of the London borough of Wandsworth are preparing to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points on every residential street, and perhaps even in all their lamp posts.

Take-up of electric vehicles in Wandsworth has been enthusiastic, with 353 new electric vehicles registered during the second quarter of 2017. The council has already installed 35 charging points, and will retrofit another 50 into lamp posts in 20 points in the borough by 2018. These will be operational by the end of January.

Wandsworth borough councillors are to vote on a proposal to install charging points in lamp posts on every residential street, allowing EV owners to charge their vehicles while parked near their homes. A press release states that councillors are “likely” to back the proposals.

Londoners suffer particularly severely from air pollution: Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has described actions to reduce air pollution in the capital as an “issue of life and death”. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are emitted by diesel engines, react with other substances in the atmosphere to destroy ozone, and can damage lung tissue, particularly in young children and the elderly.

In July, the UK government announced that the sale of conventional diesel and petrol cars would be phased out entirely by 2040 in order to tackle air pollution. The French government is also aiming to put an end to sales of polluting vehicles by 2040.

 “The future of motoring is electric”, said Jonathan Cook, the Conservative deputy leader of Wandsworth council. “The Government has announced that in 20 years’ time petrol and diesel vehicles will no longer be sold in the UK.”

“This means that councils need to start planning ahead now to make sure we deliver the infrastructure to keep people moving and give people as much choice as possible,” said Cook. “Nowhere is this more relevant than here in inner London where air quality is a real concern.”

“Providing as many charging points as possible is the key. We need to [make] the best use of existing infrastructure and make it as easy and as convenient as we can so that people are encouraged to switch to electric. But we don’t want to wait 20 years. We want to support his revolution now so that we can begin to cut harmful emissions, reduce pollution and improve the quality of the air we breathe.”

According to Cook, the council will also use the meeting to consider the idea of installing electric vehicle charging points in every lamp post in the borough: lamp column chargers. If the initial proposals are backed, the council will explore the cost and logistics that could be involved in the ambitious project.

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