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Could electric cars be charged using Devon's streetlights?

Devon County Council will today vote on whether to look at allowing electric cars to be charged using street lights.

The authority, which is currently reviewing its street lighting policy, says technology is being developed that could allow vehicles to be plugged into some columns.

The Breeze understands - if agreed - a commercial partner to roll-out the service could be sought.

The system has been tested in other parts of the country where drivers can pay a subscription for the electric used.

The council is today also voting on whether to try and sell advertising space on lamposts to increase revenue.

report being discussed today says: "There is enabling legislation to develop a network of charging points for electric vehicles and street lighting is seen as a potential asset that could be used to provide this service. 

"Often existing street lighting is not the best option for this, either due to its location on the street (at the rear of the footway) or because of the limited power that can be delivered form the street lighting circuit.

"However, it is recognised that there are a range of different options available and if a company or organisation approached the authority to undertake trials then it is recommended that the authority should consider being a willing partner.

"This policy is proposed to be effective across the county."

The report also adds: "The other additions to the policy include options for potentially using the street lighting asset to achieve income for the authority, either through banner advertising or for communication equipment such as public wifi. 

"Both would be dependent on being compliant with other areas of legislation (such as planning consent), road safety considerations (considered on a location basis) and ability of the asset to carry the extra load, which is often dependent on age."

To read today's full agenda click here

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