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London startup launches embedded car charging points

Connected Kerb has today launched its first series of electric car charging points fully embedded into the road's curbside.

Built into Borough Road in Southwark, the launch was supported by Southwark Council, Virgin Media and National Grid. The move comes after the London startup won the Mayor's Award for Urban Innovation last year.

Users of electric cars will now be able to drive up to public charging bays on Borough Road and plug in to points either built into the curb or inside a lamppost. The firm, which hopes to roll out the technology to the rest of the capital in the near future, said the charging points can also provide information such as environmental and traffic data to public authorities.

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Connected Kerb was previously responsible for creating and installing London's network of 10,000 electronic docking points for the city's cycle hire scheme. The charging hubs, which also act as ultra-fast wifi points, are made from recycled materials and are powered by renewable energy.

London mayor Sadiq Khan's new ultra-low emission zone is due to come into effect in April, in which cars and vans which don't meet tighter exhaust emissions standards will be required to pay a daily charge to travel in inner London.

Additionally, private hire vehicles that do not meet the standards will no longer be exempt from paying the city's congestion charge. Uber rival Addison Lee commissioned research in October which estimated this will cost companies around £4m a year.

Read more: Addison Lee says Sadiq Khan's congestion charge plans could cost it £4m a year

"We're on the precipice of the electric vehicle revolution; it’s an inevitability," said Connected Kerb's operations chief Paul Ayres.

"As electric vehicle ownership increases at pace, the need for a nationwide infrastructure has become critical, and we are delighted that London electric vehicle motorists will be among the first to benefit."

This article was originally featured in CityAM.