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Brighton reveals lamp post charge point plan

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Brighton and Hove City Council has announced that more than 200 new electric vehicle (EV) charge points are set to be installed across the city over the next few months.

The project is being funded with £300,000 from the Office of Low Emissions (OLEV), and £100,000 from Electric Blue.

The 207 new points will include 30 in areas with high parking demand, where the council is proposing mandatory electric charging spaces, many of them in response to requests from residents who own or are thinking of buying EVs, but have no off street parking available.

Most of the charging points will be installed on lamp posts and will provide a full charge for vehicles parked overnight. These will be installed by January next year.

Following a tender process, the council has appointed Electric Blue to install and maintain the electric vehicle charge points.

The company has carried out similar installations in St Albans, Coventry and Cambridge.

Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Many drivers have told us that they would consider buying an electric vehicle, but have been deterred by the lack of street charging points. 

“We hope that the introduction of these new lamp post chargers will make electric vehicles more attractive for motorists, and help us to continue our work to reduce pollution and improve air quality in the city.”

A mobile phone app showing the locations of all points in the city and whether they are in use, will be available to download.

Drivers will pay 28p per kilowatt hour to charge their vehicles at the public points. The fees will go towards the operating and maintenance of the points. The council will receive 1p per kw/h in year one increasing to 4p per kw/h in year four.

Fast chargers, taking around five hours, which are already installed in the city centre will be integrated into the new app. 

The council will consider installing further fast chargers outside the city centre if there is a clear demand from residents.

Electric Blue will also be also providing four rapid taxi charger hubs, after the council successfully bid for £468,000 of OLEV funding (75% for the total cost). The remaining 25% (£117,000) will be covered by Electric Blue.

The rapid charger hubs will include at least three charge points capable of charging taxis in less than 30 minutes.

All the public charge points will be powered by renewable energy in line with the council’s commitment when it joined the Oxford Charter in 2018.

Alex Calnan, Electric Blue’s managing director, said: “Electric Blue is hugely excited about this partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council and commend the authority in its bold ambitions to vastly improve the city’s zero-emission transport options, with a comprehensive range of charging possibilities. 

“We know that the key to driving the uptake of electric vehicles, on a mass scale, is to first provide the appropriate and accessible infrastructure - and of course power it with 100% renewable energy.

“Brighton & Hove is widely perceived as the country’s green-thinking capital, and we are thrilled to join them on this venture.”

The council has also been awarded £86,265 research funding from Innovate UK for a trial of smart network extenders, which increase the numb of vehicles which can be charged at each point.

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