From left to right: James Everley (ubitricity), Hayley Chivers (Portsmouth City Council), Glen Arnold (resident) Colin Martin (resident), Alexi Stone-Peters (ubitricity) and Cllr Lynne Stagg (Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transport).
Portsmouth City Council has begun the installation of the first electric vehicle charge points in residential areas.
Until now, public electric vehicle charge points have only been available in car parks but with thanks to £100,000 of funding from the government's Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the council will be installing 37 charge points in 32 roads across the city.
The scheme is operated by ubitricity and will be trialled for three years. Portsmouth is one of just 20 local authorities implementing an on-street scheme, and is the first city to introduce a system where electricity is provided by the street lamp column (either directly or via a bollard) within a marked-bay, and can be charged on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Charging electric vehicles has typically occurred off-street in car parks, garages or driveways. In built-up cities like Portsmouth, off-street parking is not an option for many residents. By installing charge points on-street, residents can enjoy the convenience of charging their plug-in electric vehicles at home.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation said: "Since publicising the scheme we have received further enquiries and requests from residents. Now they know we are installing charge points they are exploring the idea of buying an electric vehicle when they change their car, and because of this we are planning a second phase of funding.
The uptake of electric vehicles in the UK continues to gather pace. We want to encourage greater use of electric vehicles in Portsmouth, so are introducing the infrastructure to support this. We hope this will give residents the confidence to invest in electric vehicles when they replace their cars."
Mr Glen Arnold, of Adair Road, owns an electric vehicle. A charge point will be installed in Adair Road on Friday 11 March. Mr Arnold said. "I'm pleased that the electric vehicle charging point has been installed. I no longer have 'range anxiety' as now when I come home from work I can charge my car, this was something that I was unable to do before as I live in terrace house. I will now have the freedom to go come and go without the worry of charging my car before returning home.
I would like to thank all of the staff at the council who were involved and made this possible. I hope to see more charge points installed to encourage more drivers to purchase electric vehicles and live a greener life style."
Mr Colin Martin, driving instructor EV owner and soon to receive a charging point in his road.
Mr Colin Martin, of Victoria Road North, is a driving instructor and owns an electric vehicle. Mr Martin said. "With the car industry moving to electric vehicles, cities like Portsmouth will have to install a charging infrastructure so residents and businesses are able to charge their cars and vans. I’m delighted with the scheme. It means I can teach in an electric car and charge to full overnight at the roadside instead of daily visits to the rapid charger at the Isle of Wight ferry port which can take up to an hour."
"With the car industry moving to electric vehicles cities like Portsmouth will have to install a charging infrastructure so residents and businesses are able to charge their cars and vans. I’m delighted with the scheme. It means I can teach in an electric car and charge to full overnight at the roadside instead of daily visits to the rapid charger at the Isle of Wight ferry port which can take up to an hour."
All charge points will be installed by the end of March. For more information visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/electricvehicles