Why these new black bollards have popped up on Coventry roads

Scores of new electric vehicle charging points have come to Coventry to cater for ever increasing demand – but if you’re not careful you might just miss them.

They represent a new generation of slimmed-down charging points, which can be fitted to existing lampposts or blend with the street scene in as bollards.

The installation represents just the first phase of a rollout of Char.gy charging points for electric vehicles.

It has seen 69 charging point bollards installed at locations across the city starting in Harefield Road in the Ball Hill area.

And the bollards have also been made by Coventry firm Sarginsons.

Sarginsons, which is based in Torrington Avenue, traditionally supplies aluminium castings to a range of sectors including automotive and energy.

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It recently embarked on a process of diversification which saw it become the sole supplier to electric vehicle charging point manufacturer Char.gy. 

Char.gy has developed software and hardware which allows charging points to be connected into existing on-street lampposts as well as standalone bollard options.

Both types of charging point can draw their electricity from the lampposts, removing the requirement for additional cabling infrastructure.

Char.gy now has more than 400 installations across London, Coventry and Buckinghamshire.

The technology means that vehicle owners in urban areas where only on-street parking is available can access charging points for their all-electric or hybrid vehicles.

The bollards, designed by Char.gy and assisted by Sarginsons Technology Centre Manager Gavin Shipley, were installed by contractor Sigma across a seven-day period and, over time, are expected to massively increase the take-up of electric vehicles.

Sarginsons produces the final built product for Char.gy including the aluminium castings as well as internal assembly, including the electronics and is an example of the company’s Design for Manufacture process driven by its new Technology Centre.

Anthony Evans, managing director of Sarginsons, said: “We are delighted to see the first Char.gy bollards made here at Sarginsons being installed – and it’s great that it is happening here in our home city.

“This is a very exciting moment for everyone involved. For us, this is a great example of how we are diversifying to offer additional services to clients, and it is happening right here in Coventry with further orders and trials in the others parts of the country.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Char.gy – it’s a partnership that could grow and grow over the coming years as more and more towns and cities see the benefits the bollards and lamppost mounts can bring.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “The new electric charging points are a crucial part of our work to improve the transport infrastructure in the city and to facilitate the use of electric vehicles in the months and years ahead.

“This has benefits for air quality, and addressing climate change, and I’m also pleased that Sarginsons – a highly skilled Coventry business – is manufacturing dozens of the charge points.”

Cllr O’Boyle added: “I visited the company in February and saw first-hand their efforts to embrace new environmental technologies.

“Its success also highlights the benefits of being part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Green Business Network which is being delivered by Coventry City Council.”

Richard Stobart founded and started to develop Char.gy in 2016 after identifying a gap in the market for on-street charging points.

In 2019, Char.gy changed its supplier, signing a contract with Sarginsons to produce them.

He said: “I am excited to see the first units supplied by Sarginsons on the streets of Coventry. It is great to see these being added to our portfolio of units already available in Coventry and other areas of the UK.

“We are looking forward to growing our relationship with Sarginsons as we sell more of our units.”