Sutherland Avenue in Westminster has become the first residential spot in the UK to be fully converted into an electric vehicle charging point. Siemens has collaborated with Ubitricity and Westminster City Council to launch this new project, with the aim of encouraging more members of the public to go electric.
The Living Streets Organisation states that 40,000 premature deaths each year in the UK are attributed to air pollution. Cedrik Neike (CEO of Siemens Smart Infrastructure) says “We know that half of London’s air pollution is caused by road transport and Westminster is a particularly busy area. While we cannot solve the air quality overnight, the project is an important showcase of what’s possible using existing city infrastructure.”
The project, also known as ‘Electric Avenue, W9’ has involved converting lampposts into EV charge points along Sutherland Avenue, London. Hundreds of lampposts in the area have now been converted, with plans to reach a thousand EV charge points across Westminster City Council within the next year.
Councillor Andrew Smith, Westminster City Council cabinet member for environment and highways says that “Electric Avenue, W9 gives us a glimpse into the future of streets in Westminster, where we hope to provide the infrastructure needed for our residents to make the switch to cleaner, greener transport.”
Electric Avenue, W9 was inspired by a study conducted by Siemens. The study showed that 36% of British drivers plan on buying a plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle as their next car. 40% of people said a lack of charging infrastructure is keeping them from making such a purchase at the present time. By increasing the availability of EV charge points, people will feel more inclined to switch to electric. Ubitricity UK say that “Lamp post charging gives people without driveways a very convenient, low cost, renewable, energy-friendly way to charge their EV’s. Cars spend 95% of their lives idle, so it makes sense to charge them while the driver is doing something else, like sleeping or working. Our technology is designed to keep installation and maintenance costs low, which translates to long-term low costs for EV drivers and councils”
Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor of the Environment and Energy states that “This sort of innovation is what we have been calling for and it will go a long way to support outgrowing charging network.” The project has illustrated how residential streets will look soon and accelerates the shift to zero-emission vehicles.
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