INVENTIVE charge points for electric cars have made their south coast debut in the city with the first of more than 30 implemented in a Southsea road.
Motorists will now be able to charge their electric vehicles on residential streets via sockets installed in lamp-posts and bollards.
By the end of March, 37 charge points will be available in 32 Portsmouth streets as part of a scheme that cost upwards of £100,000, most of which was covered by a government grant.
Portsmouth City Council’s transport boss, Councillor Lynne Stagg, welcomed their installation. 'This is absolutely fantastic,' she said.
'We have such an air quality problem here in the city and we will be the first place on the south coast to use lampposts for this.
'I am sure this will encourage more people to use electric cars because they are more accessible than other charging points in the city. At the moment there are around 1,500 electric vehicles in Portsmouth so people are starting to use them.'
Specific electric vehicle bays will be marked next to the points, which have been provided by Ubitricity, that can only be used while charging is in progress.
Drivers can pay for the electricity using a pay-as-you go app or with a smart-cable that sets tariffs.
James Everley from Ubitricity said: 'We developed these charging points over the last three years especially to work with the specific infrastructure of residential roads.
'Nothing extra has had to be installed making it discreet and cheaper.'
The first point was implemented in Adair Road at the request of resident Glen Arnold who bought his first electric car last November.
For Glen, 57, access to the new point would make life a lot easier. He said: 'At the moment I charge my car at work or at the Tesla Supercharger in Havant.
'My wife will now get an electric car as well.
'And I will now have the freedom to come and go without the worry of charging my car before returning home.'
Existing electric vehicle charging point locations run by the council include the Park and Ride car park, the Isambard Brunel multi-storey and the Clarence Esplanade car park.
Driving instructor, Colin Martin, 58, made the switch to an electric car when he heard the points would be installed. The Victoria Road North resident added: 'With the car industry moving to electric vehicles cities like Portsmouth will have to install a charging infrastructure so residents and businesses are able to charge their cars and vans. I’m delighted with the scheme.
'It's so much cheaper to use an electric car. I only pay about £12 a week for electricity and I drive around 100 miles a day.'
The average electric car will take between six to eight hours to fully charge using the lamppost and bollard points.
Plans are in place to install more points later in the year.
Charge point locations:
Clarence Parade (x2)
Hartley Road (x2)
Havant Road (North End)
Henderson Road (x2)
High Street Old Portsmouth
Oriel Road (x2)
St Catherine Street
Victoria Road North
Warren Avenue (x2)
Wimbledon Park Road