Kensington and Chelsea Council, OVO and ubitricity join forces to expand EV charging network

Nov 13, 2017 | Press Releases

Today, Kensington and Chelsea Council announce a landmark project with leading independent energy technology company OVO and Berlin-based technology company, ubitricity, to allow more residents to charge their electric vehicles by plugging directly into Council lamp posts. The agreement will fast track the installation of an extra 50 SimpleSockets – ubitricity’s pioneering electric vehicle charging points, which draw a 100 per cent renewable energy from street lamps across the Borough.

The technology was trialled by the Council earlier this year and is now being expanded to further increase ubitricity’s electric vehicle charging capacity across central London. The project – which will result in the largest charging network of its kind in central London– will be welcome news to half of Londoners (50 per cent) who, according to research commissioned by OVO, are put off buying an electric vehicle due to a lack of charging facilities.

SimpleSockets will be conveniently located next to pay and display parking bays and available for use twenty-four hours a day. With a low tariff of £0.15 per kwh of electricity, running an electric vehicle will be affordable as well as accessible.

Cllr Gerard Hargreaves, Kensington and Chelsea Council Lead Member for Transport, said: “There is growing demand for charging facilities and a growing number of electric vehicles in Kensington and Chelsea. Most residents do not have access to off-street parking to charge an electric vehicle. Retro-fitting street lamps with charging technology allows drivers to conveniently charge their vehicles closer to home, while helping to tackle air pollution in London. Lamp post charging is also more cost-effective and much less obtrusive as the charging points require no additional street furniture.”

Tom Pakenham, Head of Electric Vehicles, OVO said: “We’re delighted to support the expansion of this pioneering programme with ubitricity and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council. With one million electric vehicles expected on the UK roads by 2022, it is important we continue to invest in technologies that solve the infrastructure challenges facing our cities.

“We want to remove barriers to electric vehicle adoption by providing innovative, simple and widely available urban charging solutions at a cost well below that of running a traditional car, and by giving people more control over their total energy usage. That’s also why we’ve aligned ourselves with the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, and will introduce a V2G (vehicle to grid) charger in 2018 that will enable drivers to sell energy to the grid from their electric vehicles – ultimately generating their own clean power.”

ubitricity Founder Knut Hechtfischer said: “We’re proud to be delivering on this industry first, partnering with OVO to deliver more smart charging locations across London and provide more freedom for electric vehicle drivers.

“ubitricity’s smart charging solution allows customers to use their energy supplier when charging, rather than billing being decided by the charge point. This puts customers in the drivers’ seat when choosing where their electricity comes from, including a hundred per cent renewable sources.”

OVO is now calling on people to register their interest for improved urban charging access in their area here:


Notes to Editors

To access the network, users buy a cable with an inbuilt electricity meter from the service provider, Ubitricity. There are two pricing options:

Option one – purchase a cable for £199 and join Ubitricity’ s monthly subscription scheme for £7.99 per month and charges 0.15 pence per kWh for electricity used.

Option two – buy a cable for £299 with no monthly subscription and charges 19 pence per kWh for electricity used.

With both options there will be additional charges of £1 for each charging session and a charge of £1 per hour after the first 24 hours of being plugged in – this is to stop people leaving their vehicle plugged in longer than they need to, and to maximise the number of vehicles that can be charged from each lamp column. These additional charges will be collected by Ubitricity and be paid to the Council.

This income will be used to help maintain the equipment and potentially fund future deployments and replacements.

The Council will begin installation of the new charge points in November and expects all the new charging points to be operational by the end of January 2018. More information can be found online:

About OVO

OVO is the UK’s leading independent energy technology company and supplier. Across the group, OVO serves nearly one million customers with intelligent energy services. Founded in 2009 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, OVO redesigned the energy experience to be fairer, greener and simpler for all. The company has been recognised as the uSwitch Energy Supplier of the Year and ranked as number one in the 2015 and 2016 Which? energy customer satisfaction surveys.

About ubitricity

The ubitricity Mobile Charging System offers the first possibility to roll out scalable charging infrastructure almost anywhere. To do this ubitricity developed its smart charging cable to perform all metering and billing technology, via the user’s mobile electricity contract. The discrete, low-profile charging spots produce next to no running costs and can be installed practically anywhere: a wall, a bollard or even integrated into an existing streetlight. The user portal then offers a transparent overview of all transaction data, with ubitricity managing charging and transaction data.