17 Jun 19

London plugs into electric vehicle revolution by 2025

Electric vehicle fleets can count on a massive increase in London’s recharging infrastructure, after the mayor of London today unveiled bold plans to support the use of zero emission vehicles.

The London Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Delivery Plan aims to increase dramatically the number of both rapid and residential charge points. It suggests that the current roll out of charging infrastructure is merely in line with demand, when what the capital needs is “an electric revolution”.

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said he wants the capital to be 100% EV by 2030, 10 years before the UK Government is aiming to end the sale of internal combustion engines.

“London’s air is so dirty and polluted that it amounts to nothing less than a serious public health crisis,” said Khan.

EVs not diesel

“We need to reject the fossil fuels of the past and embrace an electric revolution in London’s transport," added Khan. "To truly transform the quality of our air and to tackle the climate crisis London must move away from petrol and diesel cars, with their catastrophic impact on the environment, and towards zero- emission vehicles. To make this vision a reality we must make sure all Londoners have access to the essential infrastructure required to run and maintain an electric vehicle.”

330,000 EVs by 2025

Earlier this year London introduced the world’s first ultra low emission zone. The city already has more than 20,000 electric vehicles, 1,700 electric taxis and Europe’s largest electric bus fleet. It forecasts that the number of EVs on its streets could grow to more than 330,000 by 2025, spurred on by low emission regulations, a fall in the cost of electric vehicles and private hire fleets switching to electric vehicles.

London currently has 175 rapid charge points across the city and will have 300 by the end of next year. Its residential areas also have a growing network of over 1,100 lamp post charging points.

The new London EV infrastructure plan includes:

  • The installation of next generation of ultra-rapid charging points at petrol stations, starting later this year. The Mayor wants to prioritise the installation of rapid charge points (delivering a full charge in 20-30 minutes), to encourage high-mileage drivers to switch to electric vehicles.
  • The creation of five flagship charging hubs, where multiple cars will be able to charge at the same time.
  • A new ‘one-stop-shop’ where London residents can request new charging infrastructure from their local authority.
  • The expansion of electric car clubs.
  • New online smart tools to ensure that London’s electricity grid can continue to keep pace with demand.

Zipcar applauds plans

British business leaders have warmly welcomed bold new plans to promote the use of electric vehicles within London.

Jonathan Hampson, general manager for Zipcar UK, which has committed to operate a fully electric fleet by 2025, said: “It’s clear that London needs not only cleaner cars, but fewer cars. Electric car sharing therefore has to be part of the answer to London’s future mobility needs. We are driving the change that London has to make but, to go further, the rapid growth of a charging infrastructure is a pre-requisite.”

Taxis go for battery power

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, said: “The London Taxi trade has already invested over £100 million in new electric taxis. The taxi fleet is transitioning at the rate of 40 new clean cabs every week and all of these vehicles need access to rapid charge points.”

Plans make it easier for fleets to switch to EVs

And Eddie Curzon, London director of the Confederation of British Industry, said “The collaboration between business, government and the London boroughs demonstrates the integrated approach needed to deliver charging infrastructure both now and in the future. The commitments supporting the plan, from the public and private sectors, are critical to accelerating the shift across our transport network to EVs and alternatively fuelled vehicles, making the choice to switch easier for businesses and people.”

Authored by: Jonathan Manning