London must list electric vehicle charge

London needs thousands more electric vehicle charging stations (Getty Images)

More than 10,000 electric vehicle charging points have been installed in London, but thousands more are needed to meet the expected surge in demand from motorists, it was announced on Thursday.

The groundbreaking breakthrough came when the Evening Standard launched a major campaign called ‘Plug It In’ to highlight the benefits and explore the challenges of bringing electricity to the capital.

London accounts for almost a third of the UK’s 32,132 publicly accessible charging points, including some 750 fast chargers that can charge a car in 20 minutes, according to the latest data from City Hall and Zap-Map.

But Mayor Sadiq Khan predicts that 40,000 to 60,000 chargers, including up to 4,000 rapids, will be needed by the end of the decade to meet rising demand as Londoners ditch diesel and petrol.

That means 10 new chargers will have to be installed every day by the end of the decade, according to the London First group of companies.

The number of electric cars registered in the capital every year rose by 60 percent to 86,568 last year. One in five new cars bought by Londoners is now a ‘plug-in’ – either battery or hybrid.

City Hall forecasts that the total number of electric vehicles in London could reach 1.4 million by 2030 – half of all vehicles on the capital’s roads. Mr Khan wants to “urge to accelerate” efforts to switch from petrol to diesel vehicles, in line with his goal of making London carbon neutral by 2030.

In Today’s Standard he wrote: “Continuing this progress will be key to tackling London pollution and the climate emergency – helping us clean our air and reduce harmful emissions from road transport.”

He says the supply of charging stations is struggling to keep up as motorists become more environmentally conscious and the government plans to phase out new petrol and diesel cars. Electric cars currently make up three per cent of vehicles in the capital – but more than six per cent in affluent districts like Westminster.

It costs £5,000 to provide a slow-fast charging point and £85,000 for a fast or ultra-fast charger. Even covering just half of expected demand by 2025 – 18,500 new points – could cost as much as £66m.

One in five new cars bought by Londoners is now a ‘plug-in’

City Hall hopes the cost will be borne by private industry but is making public land available for chargers.

Potential locations for up to 1,000 fast charging stations on land owned by City Hall or Transport for London – including on the Red Routes – are being sought. This is expected to deliver an initial tranche of 100 Rapid or Ultra Rapid points.

TfL is looking for “expressions of interest” in private charging company locations. It has already spent £18m to subsidize 300 fast charging stations and two flagship ‘fast charging’ stations at the Olympic Park and Woolwich.

A third hub is due to open in the City of London, at Baynard House, in a few weeks, with two more planned by 2025.

There are now 16 ‘hubs’ across London, including privately built facilities near Heathrow, in Croydon and on the New Kent Road. There are concerns that London’s 10,800 public charging points are unevenly distributed – with fewer than 100 in huge suburban boroughs like Bromley, Havering, Redbridge and Harrow.

Mr Khan hopes their supply will become ‘self-sustaining’ by 2030 and is asking for government help.

Alex Williams, director of urban planning at TfL, insisted “good progress” was being made on charging points, but acknowledged there was still more work to be done.

“We need a proper publicly accessible charging structure,” he added. The Department for Transport announced this week that £1,500 in grants to buy an electric car will be scrapped in favor of subsidizing electric vans and taxis and improving the charging network.

“The government wants the number of UK charging points to increase tenfold to 300,000 by 2030 – five times the number of petrol pumps.

    (evening standard)

(evening standard)

About Nina Snider

Check Also

Towering public tribute to Audrey Hepburn said to elevate city with “depth and beauty.”

A Windsor, Ontario-based graffiti artist whose work has featured prominently in streetscapes in some of …