London must ‘take charge’ of EV infrastructure, report finds

The London Assembly Environment Committee has published its report on electric vehicles today, which calls for a ‘pan-London’ approach to electric charging points.

The report found that encouraging Londoners without their own driveway or garage to get an electric vehicle is the biggest challenge for take-up, as concerns about charging points are deep-rooted.

The report also found that the spread, location and accessibility of electric charging points are more important than the number of charging points, so a strategic pan-London approach is needed.

The report says that car clubs are a ‘golden opportunity’ to both reduce individual ownership and get more electric cars on the road, instead of petrol and diesel combustion engine vehicles.

The committee has made several recommendations to the London Mayor Sadiq Khan:

  • In the short-term for a limited period only, the Mayor should encourage all London boroughs to make parking for electric vehicles free or discounted, to drive take-up.[4]
  • Use his profile to spread the idea that charging need not be a barrier to owning an electric vehicle.
  • Offer TfL capital funding to install electric charging points where private sector investment is not happening quickly enough.
  • Set a target for the percentage of electric cars in London’s car clubs, to ensure car clubs see members sharing the cleanest vehicles.

Leonie Cooper, former Chair of the Environment Committee, said: ‘The time is ripe for London to take charge if we want to future proof this city for an electric car revolution. The Mayor has a key role to play in spearheading the shift to electric vehicles, preferably not individually owned but shared via car clubs.

‘An electric vehicle is a great option for Londoners in the minority of cases when a journey can’t be done by public transport, walking or cycling. These cars are cleaner, quieter and much better for the environment. What puts people off though, is not knowing whether they will be able to find a charger.

‘We need to get the number and location of charging points right, as well as raise awareness of charging points in the capital. This infrastructure is essential if London is to continue the electric vehicles revolution.’

In response to the London Assembly’s report on Electric Vehicles, set to be published on Thursday 24 May, a London Councils spokesperson said:

‘We welcome the London Assembly’s report and agree that working together is the best way of delivering a step-change in London’s take-up of electric vehicles. Boroughs are keen to bring their local expertise and planning knowledge to the table to help drive the shift to electric in London.

‘Currently, London boroughs are actively engaging with TfL and the Mayor of London through the Go Ultra Low City Scheme, which aims to increase electric vehicle charging infrastructure in London, and the London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee has set up a group focused on installing more rapid chargers via a collaborative approach.

‘Boroughs are also on track to quadruple the number of car charging points they are installing in the capital next year – adding 2,600 more charging points to the capital’s streets.

‘We are committed to building on this good work and strengthening our relationship with TfL and the Mayor to make widespread take-up of electric vehicles a reality for London.’

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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