The UK capital London has announced its plans to continue to develop London to make it one of the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV) cities, which incorporates an extension to the city's EV charging network.
The London EV Infrastructure Delivery Plan is a result of the Mayor’s implementation of the world’s first EV Infrastructure Taskforce last year, to which approximately 140 organisations have contributed so far. The Taskforce brings together representatives of the London boroughs, national government, business, energy and infrastructure.
London already has Europe’s largest electric bus fleet, with over 20,000 EVs, and 1,700 electric taxis. These efforts have been complemented by the introduction of the world’s first ultra-low emission zone, that requires strict new emission standards in central London, which is encouraging companies to electrify their fleets. The planned measures expand on Transport for London’s successful introduction of over 175 rapid charge points (where vehicles need only 20 to 30 minutes for a full charge) across the city, and an expanding network of 1,100 lamp post charging points provided by boroughs in residential areas.
Presently the charging infrastructure roll-out is matching the demand for EVs, but an electric revolution in London is required. The plan estimates, for a range of scenarios of EV growth, the amount of charge points needed in the next 5 years and explores how this can be delivered with reduced public subsidy and without installing outdated or underused charge points.
London's Mayor Sadiq Khan stated: “London’s air is so dirty and polluted that it amounts to nothing less than a serious public health crisis. It breaches legal limits and blights the lives of Londoners, resulting in thousands of premature deaths every year. We are also facing a climate emergency that threatens the long-term security and wellbeing of every Londoner.”
He continued: “We need to reject the fossil fuels of the past and embrace an electric revolution in London’s transport. 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.”
Ensuring a transition that is as smooth as possible for Londoners from diesel and petrol to EVs is a vital component of reducing toxic traffic emissions and supporting the Mayor’s ambition of London becoming a zero-emission city. The Taskforce and other industry partners will encourage the Mayor in pushing forward many of the initiatives of the plan, including:
- A new ‘one-stop-shop’ for Londoners, which will be led by the London boroughs, to enable them to request new charging infrastructure from their local authority in areas of high demand, thus making it easier for drivers to switch to an EV;
- Installing next generation ultra-rapid charging points at some of London's petrol stations later this year;
- New online smart tools to make sure London’s energy grid continues to keep up with the demand for electricity, and to help unlock private sector investment;
- Providing five flagship charging hubs, capable of quickly charging multiple cars in one place (the first will be operational in the heart of the City of London by the end of the year);
- Expanding electric car clubs and thus introducing more vehicles to market, so opening up greater choice to Londoners and businesses.
Article first published by SmartCitiesWorld in June 2019
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