Electric cars

Electric vehicle charging points

London suffers from extremely poor air quality, with emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) breaching legal limits. Tailpipe emissions from diesel and petrol vehicles account for a significant proportion of these emissions. In Southwark, the majority of the borough is a declared Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and we are legally required under the Environment Act 1995 to prepare and implement measures to address this issue. One such measure is to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles and installation of the charging infrastructure required. This is supported by the borough and Mayor at a pan-London level.

Charging points for residents without off-street parking

Feedback from the recent draft Kerbside Strategy indicated a strong interest from Southwark residents in switching from heavily polluting cars to electric and other forms of low emission vehicles.  However given the limited amount of off-street parking in the borough, many Southwark residents considering buying an electric car have contacted the council to request on-street charging points.

In order to overcome some of the potential barriers to purchasing electric vehicles, the council is looking at the possibility of fitting electric vehicle charging points into street lights. This is cheaper, quicker and easier to roll out with less impact on the streetscape than conventional electric vehicle charge points. Where feasible, this light infrastructure would enable residents to pay for, and directly charge their electric car from lamp columns located on the kerbside.

Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS)

The council has recently been successful in winning £300,000 as part of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS) project, which is managed by London Councils, Mayor of London and Transport for London on behalf of the Office of Low Emission Vehicles. The funding will support innovative new approaches such as using lamp posts as the base and power supply for charge points.

We now wish to work with you to identify sites where charging points could be installed to support local residents to make the switch to greener vehicles. The council is interested to hear from residents who own or are considering purchasing an electric vehicle and who would like to trial this technology.

How can I take part

If you wish the council to consider the suitability of your street for a lamp post charger please email PublicRealmTransport@Southwark.gov.uk with the following details.

  • your name and address
  • an indication that you already own an EV or plug in hybrid, or intend to purchase one
  • three street lights you’d like charge points installed at, in order of preference (please think carefully about what parking pressure is like locally). Please identify the street lights using the nearest house number

What will the Council do

Over the coming months, the council will register all requests and make an initial assessment on whether the suggested sites are suitable. We will need to take into account a number of factors  including:

  • whether the street is in a Parking Zone and local parking stress
  • whether the lamp post is at the kerb side
  • other plans for electric charging points in that area
  • whether the level of funding can meet demand

The council will undertake these site investigations from October to December of this year. Should we receive sufficient interest we hope to proceed with installation of lamp post charging columns from April 2018.

Page last updated: 24 January 2018