READING’S first electric charging points on residential streets are now live.
Powered using the existing electrical supply to lamp posts, a total of 15 charging points have been installed and are operational on Coventry Road, Filey Road, Manchester Road, St Bartholemews Road, East Street, Anstey Road Caversham Road and Wantage Road.
The charging points are free to use for electric vehicle owners in the first month. After that they will cost 30p/kWh.
The locations were selected following the Council’s ‘Go Electric’ public consultation where Reading residents who either owned an electric vehicle, or had an interest in buying one in the future, were asked to register their interest in having an electric charging point on their street.
While electric vehicles are an increasingly popular choice for drivers because of the obvious air quality and health benefits, people are very often put off by having nowhere to charge their vehicle overnight where they don’t have a private driveway.
Reading has a higher than average percentage (33%) of its households living in terraced properties. An estimated 52,000 people live in terraced housing and a high proportion have no access to off-street parking, which makes charging an electric vehicle overnight very difficult. The Council successfully bid for Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Air Quality Grant of £100,000 to pay for the installation of electric vehicle charging points on residential streets where there is no off street parking.
The initiative fits in with Reading Borough Council’s declaration of a Climate Change Emergency and its commitment to a carbon neutral town by 2030.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“I’m delighted to see the first charging points on residential streets being installed across Reading.
“By using the electrical supply of lamp posts, we can create easy and conveniently located charging points close to people’s homes, making it the ideal solution for overnight charging.
“More and more people are choosing to go electric in the interests of improving air quality, health and their impact on the environment. That can be difficult, particularly in a town like Reading where a third of residents live on terraced streets with no off-street parking to make charging a vehicle more simple.
“This Council-led initiative is a good start, but there is much work to be done and we will continue to look for opportunities to install more electric charging points where the opportunities arise and as technology develops.”
It had been hoped considerably more than 15 charging points could be installed, but the number was reduced due to many lamp posts in Reading being located at the rear pavements rather than the front – which would have meant installing additional pillars on already narrow pavements, or having cabling across pavements – and the fact that the electricity supply would have needed to be replaced on some of the older lamp columns.
For more information on electric charging points in Reading go to http://www.reading.gov.uk/article/11884/Electric-car-charging