ONE HUNDRED new charging points will be created in residential streets in Oxford to make electric vehicle ownership possible for 16,000 extra homes.

The largest pilot of its kind in the world will begin when 30 trial points of various kinds are installed in pavements and lampposts by the end of this year.

The most successful types of charger points will then be rolled out in 100 residential streets around the city, probably from 2018.

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council hope to encourage thousands more people to buy electric cars to help cut emissions in the city.

City executive board member for climate change, John Tanner, said: “Climate change and poor air quality are two of the biggest issues facing Oxford and we all need to do everything we can to cut vehicle emissions.

“However, for people living in Oxford’s beautiful but narrow terraced streets, charging an electric car is a real problem. This project aims to remove that barrier.

“By installing 100 electric charging points, we are going to turn the Oxford into a city filled with electric avenues.”

The project has been made possible by an £800,000 grant from the the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

The department set up its £40m “Go Ultra Low Cities” scheme in a drive to make every new passenger vehicle sold in the UK an “ultra-low emission vehicle” by 2050.

The term incorporates pure electric cars, such as the BMW i3, and hybrid electric-petrol vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, which produce 75g/km or less CO2.

This summer, the city and county councils will invite technology firms to come forward with solutions to the problem.

Possible solutions already on the market include low-tech “cable gullies”, which are laid into pavement to prevent pedestrians from tripping on cables, and high-tech “smart lampposts” capable of charging a vehicle.

The councils hope to trial 30 chargers from at least six different organisations from the end of 2016.

The best solutions will then be rolled out in 100 sites.

The councils were supported in their bid to OLEV by Oxford’s own BMW Mini technicians.

The firm and its partners Eluminocity have developed the “light and charge” street lamp which doubles as an electric charging point.

Mini plant managing director Frank Bachmann said: “There’s no doubt that ‘light and charge’ technology has huge potential to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, not just in Oxford but in cities across the country.

“We would of course be delighted to be involved with any future trials that take place here in Oxford.”

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said the project would grow the electric vehicle industry in Oxford.

The councils have appealed for residents who would like to be part of the trial to come forward.

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