Charge points from ubitricity used to solve market stall power supply challenges

Westminster City Council is repurposing electric vehicle charge point technology and using it to provide a power supply for market stallholders at Tachbrook Street Market in Pimlico, London.

The local authority has joined forces with ubitricity, a provider of on-street EV charging technology, to carry out the project. Engineering and infrastructure consultancy firm WSP designed the electrical system and analysed the power demand of the traders.

Ubitricity, part of the Shell Group, was appointed as an 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.

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, commented: “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.”

Image courtesy of ubitricity.

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