Portsmouth has narrow streets, limited off-street parking and many houses are without access to a driveway or garage to charge off-street. An air quality directive is also in place, a clean air zone has been introduced, and there is a real need to install charge points based on residential requests. Against that backdrop, it’s been brilliant to work with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) to deliver their on-street charging infrastructure, including Pay-As-You-Go streetlight charging, which is accessed via designated parking bays.
As the aim is to give residents the opportunity to charge vehicles outside their homes, consideration was given to which demographic groups were likely to switch to EVs first, and where they live. This was mapped against where the council team knew there was terraced housing, and combined with local knowledge, it created a picture of where the chargers should be installed.
Some residents had also requested charge points. They were interviewed by the Portsmouth team to establish whether there were any parking issues in their area, whether they currently owned an EV, or were planning to buy one, if they had any suggested locations, and what their views on payment expectations were. This engagement with residents has been crucial to the success of the charge point roll-out.
Turning to infrastructure, the best solution was to use the streetlight electricity supply, as it is lower cost and doesn’t take up additional space. Adding to the pre-existing 36 on-street chargers already across the city, we’ve installed a further 62 charge points. Nine are in-column chargers, but the majority are bollard chargers because many lamp columns are at the back of the pavement. Bollards are then positioned at the front of the footway but are slimline, so they don’t take up much-needed space.
Designated parking bays have also been created alongside charge points, as feedback from the survey process suggested there could be access issues without them.
PCC is also the first authority to have the combination of lamp columns, parking bays and a Pay-As-You-Go payment option, so together we’ve certainly been leading the on-street charge!
Over £200,000 of funding was secured through the Office for Zero Emissions (OZEV) On Street Residential Charge Point Scheme (ORCS), which allocated 75% of the cost for the infrastructure and installation for phases one and two. The remainder was council- funded.
The scheme has been very successful. It’s won a Transtech award for emobility, and as Councillor Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic & Transportation puts it,
“We hope that the ability to charge outside your own home will be a great incentive to join the revolution and reduce emissions further”.
And it certainly has been. Resident, Martin Hoy, who uses the charge points says:
“We took a leap of faith buying an electric vehicle, and I wouldn’t go back. We’ve become a one car family with my wife and I sharing the car. When I don’t drive to work I cycle instead. I’ve also taken the car on longer journeys across the country and it’s been easy to use and charge on the go.”
Back in the city, the Portsmouth charge points are being very well used and with almost 200 further charge point requests, the council is looking to grow the network even further. We can’t wait to help them realise their ambitions.
Read more case studies about our public sector work
November 30, 2022
EV Charging, Public Sector