Neuinstallierte Bollards in Westminster

Westminster City Council installs ubitricity charge points to solve power supply challenges for open air street markets

May 11, 2021 | Press Releases

Repurposed bollards with electricity points will help bring stallholders and customers back to Tachbrook Street Market in London

London, May 11, 2021: Westminster City Council and ubitricity, the UK’s largest on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging technology provider, have joined forces to become the first in the UK to repurpose EV charge point technology into a power supply exclusively for market stallholders at Tachbrook Street Market in Pimlico, London.

As part of the extensive renovation of Tachbrook Street Market consistent power will be provided to stallholders in a safe, more accessible and efficient way. WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering and infrastructure consulting firms, designed the electrical system and analysed the power demand of the traders. ubitricity, part of the Shell Group, was appointed as an exclusive infrastructure supplier and tasked with reconfiguring the bollard infrastructure at the market into waterproof outdoor electricity points. The bollards are simpler to operate, with stallholders accessing the electric supply using a bespoke cable and paying for the electricity used to operate their market stalls through a QR code providing a much fairer and simple way to make payments. The 24 charge points each deliver 3.6 kW renewable energy at 16 amp / 230 Volts – enough power, for example to power a rice cooker, large display warmer or two panini toasters.

The recent renovation of the market is part of the council’s ‘City for All’ vision for Westminster. The council is committed to improving the overall shopping experience for customers and traders at markets across the city. The new bollards at Tachbrook Street produce less air and noise pollution than the previous portable generators, and the improved layout of the market has created more space for shoppers. This has resulted in a greatly improved customer experience, making Tachbrook Street Market a cleaner, greener, and more attractive destination for shoppers and traders. 

Councillor Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning, said: “Westminster is committed to investing in new technology to improve services for residents, businesses, and visitors. In particular, the Council is committed to supporting its market traders. As part of the extensive renovations to Tachbrook Street market, we wanted to supply traders with a reliable and safe electricity supply. The new system is fairer and easier for traders, as they only pay for the electricity they use and for some that could mean that they pay less than £1 per hour. Additionally, the green energy supplied by these bollards will contribute to Westminster achieving its zero carbon goals.”

Dan Bentham Managing Director UK of ubitricity added: “This is an exciting and progressive development of utilising street infrastructure. Previously our compact and discreet technology was only used to recharge electric cars, this now shows the versatility and scalability of this infrastructure. By eliminating generators and using renewable energies it provides further options for businesses and councils to consider as the UK moves forward with its target to reach net zero target.”

Louise Lawrence, Head of Intelligent Transport at WSP is pleased with the outcome: “We worked closely with Westminster City Council and ubitricity from the beginning and tested the solution before to make sure the power supply is sufficient and ready to be deployed at scale. It’s working wonderfully.”

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Nicole Anhoff-Rosin
ubitricity Gesellschaft für verteilte Energiesysteme mbH
EUREF-Campus 7-8 · D-10829 Berlin
+49 30 398 371 69 490

This new approach solves a number of challenges providing electricity supplies in an open-air setting:

1. Safety: A key goal for Westminster City Council was to improve electrical safety and reliability for the traders. ubitricity’s bollards enable each stallholder to control and monitor their electricity consumption. They have been set to deliver up to 3.6kW of power which provides each power outlet with enough electricity for their needs.

2. Fair pricing: Each bollard measures its own electricity use and is supported by a contactless pay as you go payment system, therefor enabling the stallholders only to pay for the power they use daily. It also provides a simple way to pay for electricity usage via smartphone and QR code with a receipt emailed at the end of each day. The 24p/kWh price means a stallholder will pay less than £1 per hour.

3. Flexibility: The ubitricity bollards are made from a flexible polymer material which enables them to withstand the inevitable bumps from manoeuvring vans. They are also fitted in a retention socket which enables them to be temporarily removed in minutes to fit the needs of different stallholders.

About the City of Westminster: The area of 21.47 km², which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and much of the West End shopping and entertainment district. Also situated in the borough are the Houses of Parliament and 10 Downing Street. The current population of the City of Westminster is 253,137 (2019).

About ubitricity: ubitricity is a member of the Shell Group. The name stems from “ubiquitous electricity” and it’s the company’s mission to provide “Electricity, for Everyone, Everywhere” through its range of intelligent solutions for charging and billing electric cars. ubitricity is well-known for the compact and robust retrofitted lamp post EV charge points. The in-column outlets make a fast-roll out of a dense EV charging infrastructure possible without extensive civil works. There are over 800 ubitricity charge points installed in Westminster.

About WSP: As one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consultancies, WSP brings clarity and vision to complex challenges. The team of technical specialists and strategic advisers across the UK is part of a talented global family of expertise. Together, they ensure innovative solutions solve complex problems for their clients and the communities they serve, meeting both the needs of today and addressing the challenges of the future. WSP is on course to become a net zero business by 2025 – an achievement for which they were named Global Good Company of the Year in 2019 – and announced in October 2020 a commitment to halve the carbon footprint of all designs and advice provided to clients by 2030, a first in the engineering consultancy sector.

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