Switch off of Portsmouth's on-street electric vehicle charging points dubbed an 'absolute disaster'

The shut down of electric car charging points across Portsmouth has been dubbed an ‘absolute disaster’.
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Portsmouth City Council have received notification of a safety issue with Portsmouth’s on-street electric car charging points, forcing the council to switch off all 98 outlets in the city. The issue has arisen from the installation of charging ports, which utilises the electricity supply from

lampposts, and is currently under investigation. It is unknown how long the charging points will remain deactivated.

The charging units have been switched offThe charging units have been switched off
The charging units have been switched off
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Councillor Graham Heaney (LAB) raised the issue when reviewing the ‘Impact of Recent Central Government Policy Changes to Climate Change in Portsmouth’ report, highlighting the transport items that details the council’s ambitions to expand their on-street electric vehicle charging point scheme.

Councillor Heaney, who is the party’s spokesperson for Traffic and Transportation, said: “I have already had someone contact me to ask how they are going to charge their car for travelling to work. It’s an absolute disaster for electric car owners, and I do hope that the electricity company will speed up their response and tell us what the problem is… It’s a real concern to people in the city”.

Transport Planning Manager & Strategic Transport Lead Hayley Chivers stated that it is an ‘ongoing investigation’, sharing no additional updates.

The notification was given by Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), the electricity distribution network operator in Portsmouth. Electric vehicle charging points were rolled out across the city in 2019, installed by ubitricity or Joju, who are also responsible for thousands of other on-street charging points across the country. The installation companies are now working with SSEN to investigate the issue as instructed by the council.

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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; 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 issue was raised on Wednesday’s (November 23) Portsmouth City Council meeting of the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Greening the City at the Guildhall, which addressed the impact of recent central government policy to climate change in Portsmouth ahead of its 2030 carbon net zero target.