A recent report by the International Council on Clean Transportation revealed that London came out top of the league of European cities on electric vehicle policies – showing London has the most ambitious policies to phase out the use of petrol and diesel vehicles.
London now has more than 500 rapid charge points and over 5,500 residential charge points, with some points dedicated exclusively for almost 4,000 electric taxis operating in the capital.
Working with bp pulse and ESB Energy as the charging point operators, Transport for London (TfL) met its target to install 300 rapid charging points by the end of December 2020, despite works being paused from April to June 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This includes the first rapid charging hub in London at Stratford International car park with six charging points. Two further hubs are planned at Baynard House, City of London, which will have six rapid charge points and at Glass Yard, Greenwich, with eight rapid charge points.
Rapid chargers are mostly used by commercial vehicles such as taxi, delivery and courier drivers and are designed to be used for around 30 minutes for a quick charge. London boroughs have also delivered more than 2,000 on-street residential charge points, through the Go Ultra Low City Scheme, with more than 3,000 forecast to be delivered by spring this year. Both projects, as well as a grant scheme to help taxi drivers switch to electric vehicles, are funded by the Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
While the charging infrastructure installed meets demand for now, a huge rise in demand is expected over the next few years as the take up of EVs increases. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Delivery Plan estimates that by 2025, London may need up to 4,000 rapid charging points and up to 48,000 residential chargers as more and more people and businesses move to electric vehicles.
City Hall is working with TfL, the Department for Transport, London Councils and boroughs to agree a plan for future installations. This includes reviewing available public land for installing EV charge points, reviewing TfL’s own EV procurement strategy, and a recent reconvening of the EV Infrastructure Taskforce to discuss how to tackle challenges to delivering London’s future charge point needs.
Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning, said: “Rapid charging points will play a key part in decarbonising transport and the shift to cleaner vehicles. To help drivers make the switch from older, more polluting vehicles to electric, they need the confidence that plugging in will be convenient and hassle free. We have hit our target of 300 rapid charge points, which along with the capital’s extensive wider network, make London a city that is showing bold leadership on the global issue of cleaning up toxic air.”
Rachel Muncrief, Deputy Director, International Council on Clean Transportation, said:
“London’s comprehensive electric vehicle support policies – from the ULEZ and planned Zero Emission Zones to electrifying its black cabs and the innovative Go Ultra Low City Schemes – have made London an example for other cities across Europe and the world. This milestone shows that London is committed to overcoming the charging infrastructure challenge and unlocking a broad transition to electric vehicles, bringing major benefits for air quality and the climate.”
Daniel Firth, Transport and Urban Planning Programme Director, C40 Cities adds:
“London is a true global leader on climate action, as is demonstrated by this fast and effective roll-out of rapid charging infrastructure across the city. Easy access to charging points is critical to achieve a future where zero emission vehicles are the norm.
“Today’s announcement is a prime example of how cities like London are driving forward urgent solutions to the climate crisis, towards a zero-emission future.”