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Lamp post EV charging point, Source: fingal.ie

Lamp post EV charging pilot underway in Fingal

Lamp post EV charging pilot underway in Fingal

The project has been made possible by an amendment to the Planning and Development Act allowing street lighting poles in Ireland to be used for EV charging

The 2020 Carzone Motoring Report shows that the majority of Irish motorists are set on making the transition to green driving, with 55 percent of them saying they plan to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle as their next car. Sales figures support this change of mindset, with new electric vehicle purchases in 2021 superseding by more than 146 percent those during the pre-pandemic 2019.

Cross-border partnership

Keeping abreast of this trend, Fingal County Council has partnered with ubitricity, UK’s largest public EV charge point operator and member of the Shell Group, to test new charging options for electric vehicle drivers in Fingal. As part of the joint pilot project, ubitricity has recently embedded EV chargers in two lamp posts in Malahide village, located next to the police and train stations. These are the company’s first charge points in Ireland.

Ubitricity is a collation of “ubiquitous” and “electricity” and the company slogan reads “Electricity for everyone, everywhere”. Therefore, it targets residents without access to off-street parking like a private garage, or guests from other localities.

The aim is for drivers to be able to charge their e-vehicles when they park on the street, without the need for a subscription. What they have to do is simply scan the QR code and follow the instructions. Fingal County Council will cover the costs of charging during the trial period, later switching to pay-per-use model.

Transition to sustainable transport

The pilot scheme has been made possible by a last year’s amendment to the Planning and Development Act, allowing street lighting poles to be used for EV charging. Fingal County Council invites local residents to participate and provide feedback which will be key to defining the future strategy for rollout of charging infrastructure across Fingal.

Speaking on the occasion, Lex Hartman, CEO of ubitricity said, as quoted by fingal.ie: “We look forward to working with councils across Ireland, including Fingal County Council, to help them and customers to switch to electric vehicles. As public demand for EV charging infrastructure is growing exponentially, a highly-scalable and easy to deploy solution is needed for a fast roll-out. The unique compactness helps the charge points to blend in well with the street scenery and keeps the sidewalks clutter-free. Recharging the battery whenever the car is parked anyway will accelerate EV adoption as charging becomes simpler and more convenient.”  

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