Portsmouth on-street electric vehicle charging points turned off after safety concerns

Nearly 100 on-street charging points for electric vehicles in Portsmouth have been disconnected after safety concerns were raised by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.
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Portsmouth's on-street charging points have operated since 2019. They use power from lampposts in the same way as charging points across the country.

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The infrastructure is operated by the installing company who is responsible for liaising with the distributing network operator, in Portsmouth this is SSEN. The charging points were installed by ubitricity or Joju and between them the companies are responsible for thousands of similar on-street charge points elsewhere in the country.

An electric vehicle charging area.An electric vehicle charging area.
An electric vehicle charging area.

Following notification from SSEN of their safety concerns, as a precaution the charging points have been switched off while this is investigated

It is not known how long the charge points will be out of action for, the council has instructed both Joju and ubitricity to work with SSEN to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport at Portsmouth City CouncilCllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport at Portsmouth City Council
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport at Portsmouth City Council
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While the charging points are not in use the usual parking enforcement will not be in place, meaning any car can park in a designated electric vehicle bay.

Residents with electric vehicles are being advised to use around 50 public charge points at the following locations to charge their vehicle while the on-street charge points are offline: Tesco Fratton; Gunwharf Quays; Historic Dockyard; Wightlink Terminal; Crasswell Street NCP Car Park; Tesco Cosham; Tesco North Harbour; Morrisons Victory Retail Park; Stubbington Avenue Car Park; Ibis Hotel, Winston Churchill Avenue; Portsmouth International Port and McDonald's Cosham.

The council has also temporarily opened more rapid EV chargers at Isambard Brunel carpark and London Road carpark to help drivers of electric vehicles charge their cars while on-street chargers are currently offline.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport, said "I'm extremely disappointed we have had to take this decision, but we can't ignore concerns from SSEN. It is now up to Joju and ubitricity to make sure the charging points are back up and running as soon as possible and we'll be pushing them to make this happen.

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“As someone who uses them, I know this will be a huge inconvenience to all the people who use our on-street charging points and we're very sorry for the disruption. There are a number of public charging points still available which people can use and we're putting details of these at all of the disconnected charging points and on our website."

The out-of-operation on-street charge points include designated parking bays. While the charging points are not in use, usual parking enforcement rules will not be in place – any car can park in a designated electric vehicle bay.

Drivers should maintain awareness about local restrictions such as resident parking zones.