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Mayor seeks support in boosting Londons EV infrastructure

Representatives from the energy and transport sectors will work with London’s local authorities to seek to boost the uptake of electric vehicles in the capital, part of City Hall’s drive to improve air quality.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced the establishment of an electric vehicle infrastructure taskforce for the city, aimed at boosting electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The taskforce has been convened by the Mayor, and is supported by Transport for London (TfL).

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wants businesses and London boroughs to install more rapid EV charging points

Organisations including UK Power Networks, Cross River Partnership, Freight Transport Association, Shell UK, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) are represented on the taskforce, which will seek to engage with London boroughs to speed up the installation of charging points across the capital.

According to City Hall there are currently 128 open access rapid charging points across the capital, including those installed by the private sector.

Additionally, since January 2017 London boroughs have installed 644 electric vehicle charging points with another 2,630 charging points installed by the end of 2018/19. These include a mixture of slow, fast and rapid charging points.

Rapid charging

In particular the Mayor is keen to see a faster roll-out of rapid charging (50kwh+) infrastructure – many in the form of rapid charging ‘hubs’ – to support the growth in low emission vehicle use in the taxi and private hire sector.

City Hall claims that since mid-2016, 104 rapid charging points have been delivered in the capital. However, much of this has been installed on land or roads managed by TfL – which has only limited capacity for future development.

The Mayor has lobbied for powers to give the Greater London Authority more control over the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across London having raised concerns over the slow growth of the number of charging points in the city. This would likely see some powers taken away from London boroughs, who control 95% of London’s roads.

However, through the Taskforce the Mayor will seek to encourage a collaborative approach between the private and public sectors to roll out additional rapid charging infrastructure in the city.

A passenger boards the TX eCity – one of the newest zero-emission capable taxi models on the market

Announcing the move today, the Mayor 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.

“We’ve already made some great progress with the rollout of electric buses, electric taxis and rapid charging points, alongside launching the Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) for the oldest polluting vehicles in central London and bringing forward the introduction of the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone. But we cannot do this alone.

“We’ve received huge support for this new taskforce, showing it is not just an environment or transport issue but one that is vital to the future of our city, and organisations across all sectors are stepping up and accepting they have a part to play. This initiative will support London boroughs and ensure electric vehicle infrastructure is installed in the right places, and help make our city an even better place to live.”

Christina Calderato, Transport for London’s Head of Delivery Planning, said: “We are committed to making London a zero-emission city and this taskforce is an important step in achieving that. We are installing rapid charging points across London, only licensing zero emission capable taxis and by 2020 all single decker buses will be zero emission. However, we recognise more can be done and we are working hard with boroughs and the private sector to ensure London has the infrastructure needed to become an electric city.”

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