London to double charging points by the end of 2018

07 August 2017

7 August 2017

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a £4.5 million (€4.98 million) investment in 1,500 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the UK capital to meet the demand expected by an uptake in alternative fuel vehicles.

Transport for London (TfL) and borough councils in the city will roll out the new infrastructure over the course of 2018. The news follows UK Government plans to abolish the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, and the introduction of a new electric London Taxi, with the phasing out of diesel cabs through a scrappage scheme.

The Mayor is an outspoken critic of diesel vehicles, especially due to their levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) output which he believes significantly contributes to the capital city’s high levels of air pollution. Therefore his plans to increase the charging infrastructure could be seen as a way to incentivise drivers in London to switch to EVs.

The chosen boroughs in the city, 25 of the 32, will receive up to £300,000 (€332,000) to install the standard charging points, which take between four and eight hours to charge a vehicle, in residential areas. Officials will now identify sites where the points could be installed, which may include new and innovative ideas, such as utilising lamp posts as the base and supply point, which would offer a quicker roll-out and have less impact on the landscape, This would be a similar approach to one in Finland, where existing heater poles could be turned into charging stations.

The new points will be in addition to the network of 150 rapid charge points for taxis and commercial fleets that TfL is installing by 2018.

′This substantial investment in electric charging points will make a real difference, making electric vehicles an easier and more practical option for Londoners across our city,’ comments Khan.

′We have a bold ambition to make London’s transport system zero emission by 2050, and working with boroughs to roll out more charging infrastructure is a vital part of making this a reality.’

Julian Bell, London Councils’ transport and environment spokesman, adds: ′Improving London’s air quality by reducing emissions is a real priority for our city. It is unacceptable that 9,000 people a year die early in London due to air pollution. 

′So it is great to see London boroughs bidding to invest in conveniently located electric vehicle charging points. This will help to ensure we have infrastructure in the right places to make it easier for people across the capital to choose electric vehicles.’