Portsmouth City Council in the South of the UK, plans to install around 50 charge points on 34 roads during the next few months after it became one of the first local authorities to receive funding from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Locations for the trial scheme were initially identified via resident requests and are now subject to further consultation.

The scheme is operated by ubitricity and will be trialled for three years. Portsmouth is the first city to introduce an integrated solution, where electricity is provided by the street lamp column (either directly or via a bollard) and 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 such as Portsmouth, off-street parking is not an option for many residents. By installing charge points on-street, residents can have the convenience of charging their plug-in electric vehicles at home.

“We hope this will give residents the confidence to invest in electric vehicles when the time comes to replace their cars,” said Portsmouth Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, Lynne Stagg.

“We have aspirations for improving and maintaining healthy air quality in Portsmouth, to reduce pollution levels and benefit public health. As more residents use electric vehicles, communities will benefit from improved air quality and will lower their carbon footprint.”

Residents who requested a charge point will now be contacted by the council so the installation process can begin.

Charging areas will be identifiable by a shared-use socket and a marked ‘electric vehicle charging’ bay. To park in the bay, the vehicle must be plugged in.