Electric vehicle adoption is on the rise in the UK, and with it comes the need for more public charging infrastructure. One innovative solution that is gaining popularity is lamppost charging.

Lamppost charging takes advantage of existing street infrastructure to provide convenient and cost-effective EV charging. In this Q&A session, Jordan Marsden, Area Sales Manager at Ubitricity, discusses the benefits of lamppost charging and how it is helping to advance EV adoption in the UK.

#LEVS: Could you please provide an update on the current status of electric vehicle adoption in the UK? Additionally, I'm interested in learning about the emerging trends that are expected to influence the future trajectory of EV adoption in the country.

Mr Jordan: EV adoption is on an upwards trend in the UK. As of the end of July 2023, there are around 840,000 fully electric cars on UK roads. There was a 40% increase in the number of battery-electric cars in 2022 in comparison to 2021.

From an EV charging point of view, we are definitely seeing a demand for more on-street EV from both EV drivers and Local authorities. The launch of the government backed Low Emission Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund has prioritised EV charging strategy for many Local authorities, The fund puts a huge emphasis on the equitable and fair rollout of local charging infrastructure, specifically focusing on drivers who don’t have access to a home charge point.

With interest in EVs increasing and more funding becoming available to LAs, we expect to see a large increase in the amount of public EV charge points rolled out across the UK in the next couple of years.

#LEVS: The concept of lamppost charging is quite captivating. Could you please provide insights into how it works, its advantages, and how it contributes to the advancement of electric vehicle infrastructure?

Mr Jordan: To put it simply, we turn regular street lamp posts into EV charge points.

Lamppost charging is an innovative approach to EV charging that takes existing urban infrastructure, such as streetlights or lampposts and retrofits charging sockets to turn them into EV charge points. Our lamppost charge points supply 5kW per kWh which makes them perfect for overnight charging. Users can connect to the charge points using a standard type 2 cable and can pay using our Pay-as-you-go service or through roaming apps such as the Shell Recharge app.

The main advantage of Lamppost charging is its convenience to the end user. 8 million households in the UK and just under a quarter (24%) of households in England don’t have access to off-street or private parking (such as a garage). Lamppost charging provides convenient near home charging to those residents.  Most of our customers use the charge points as they would use a home charger, plugging in when they get home from work and unplugging in the morning.

Our solution is popular with local authorities as rollouts are quick to install and cost effective, which means that councils can quickly roll out a large number of charge points for their residents. Using the lamppost as our charge point casing not only helps our solution to blend effortlessly into the streetscape but also means our charge points are one of the most cost friendly options on the market.

#LEVS: With over 7,000 public charge points in your network, could you share some insights into how ubitricity has managed to create such a successful charging ecosystem?

Mr Jordan: We are proud to have been able to work with over 30 councils and local authorities to install over 7,000 public charge points across the UK.

As the largest public charge point operator in the UK, we’ve developed great long-lasting relationships with our customers. We treat EV charging as critical infrastructure and we think that shows in the level of service and reliability we provide. We have very satisfied customers, from both the councils and end users.

Aside from the technology, we are a popular choice with local authorities due to our approach to maintenance. We provide continued maintenance and support across the whole of our network throughout the life of the product, which gives local authorities peace of mind that their residents will be able to access a reliable charging service.

#LEVS: With the growing popularity of electric vehicles, what are the future plans and goals of ubitricity's street lamppost charging network in terms of scale and coverage?

Mr Jordan: We have big ambitions ubitricity and would love to work with every council in the UK. We believe that no one should be left behind in the transition to e-mobility. Those residents who can’t have a home charger or don’t have access to a private parking space or garage should be able to easily access public charging infrastructure close to home.

We plan on continuing our work with local authorities to help develop their EV strategy, from funding through to charge point deployment, and make sure that their residents have access to the best network they possibly could have.

#LEVS: In what ways do events like the London EV Show contribute to the advancement of electric vehicle adoption and the awareness of innovative solutions like street lamppost charging?

Mr Jordan: Events like the London EV Show play a vital role in advancing electric vehicle adoption and raising awareness about new EV charging solutions hitting the market. These events provide a platform for showcasing cutting-edge technologies and educating the public.