Mayor of London launches electric vehicle taskforce

Sadiq Khan has launched a new taskforce dedicated to boosting the infrastructure needed to increase the take-up of electric vehicles across London.

He will also encourage the boroughs, Government and all those involved in the taskforce to work together so that more rapid charging points are installed in the capital.

Since Mr Khan was sworn in as mayor in May 2016, 104 rapid charging points have been delivered on land or roads managed by Transport for London. However, the Mayor has called on more investment from the private sector to support the growth of electric vehicles.

In particular, The Mayor would like to see rapid charging ‘hubs’, which are a group of charging points, similar to petrol stations, set up across the city.

Sadiq Khan said: ‘I’m delighted to launch a new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Taskforce today, bringing together industry, businesses and the public sector to work together to deliver electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the capital. London’s filthy air is a public health crisis, and encouraging more Londoners to switch from diesel to electric vehicles is critical in tackling it.’

Ben Rogers, director at Centre for London said: ‘This taskforce must recognise that electric vehicles are no panacea for tackling air pollution, or even more so, congestion.

‘Once established, the taskforce should put pressure on the government to invest in R&D so that we can deepen understanding of the polluting aspects of electric vehicles and prepare our cities for the future.

‘But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we need to get Londoners out of their cars, not into less polluting vehicles, and encourage walking, cycling and public transport.’

Caroline Russell, chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee, said:

The Environment Committee recently published its report into electric vehicles and we strongly called for a pan-London approach to electric vehicle charging points. It’s good to see the Mayor is moving towards this with a dedicated taskforce.

‘There’s no point having an electric vehicle if you can’t charge it! We want to see this taskforce working together to take real action to improve electric vehicle infrastructure in London.

London’s filthy and polluted air needs to be tackled urgently and when a journey can’t be done by foot, bike or public transport, electric vehicles are the best option out there.’

Our report made a series of recommendations and the Committee looks forward to scrutinising the taskforce’s shared delivery plan, which will be published next year.’

A £42m fund is also already available to encourage the owners of the oldest, most-polluting diesel black cabs to retire them from the capital’s fleet. The owners of black cabs between 10 and 15 years old can apply for a grant of up to £5,000 in exchange for retiring their taxi, and cab drivers can also get up to £7,500 towards the purchase of a new vehicle.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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