London’s Electric Vehicle Future
With two million people in London living with illegal air pollution, the capital city is currently experiencing a toxic air crisis. To truly transform the quality of air, London must move away from petrol and diesel cars, with their catastrophic impact on the environment, and move towards zero-emission vehicles.
In an attempt to tackle this climate crisis and achieve the necessary improvements, the Mayor of London has recently launched the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan as part of his ambition to turbo-charge the city’s roll out of electric vehicle (EV) charging points and make London’s transport network zero carbon by 2050.
This ambitious goal is planned to be achieved by transforming London’s streets and transport infrastructure to enable zero emission operation.
As part of supporting and accelerating the uptake of ultra low and zero emission technologies, the Mayor has set out an agenda to overhaul the Capital’s approach for building out EV charge points in a bid to ensure the speedy development of a comprehensive network for EV drivers.
The plan includes provisions for more rapid chargers at petrol stations, five ‘flagship charging hubs’ to allow multiple cars to be charged in one place, and a new ‘one-stop-shop’ for Londoners to request new charging infrastructure from their local authorities.
It will only be possible to bring about a zero carbon city by 2050 if all vehicles have zero exhaust emissions by that date and in order to support such a radical growth in electric vehicles, London will need to deliver the necessary infrastructure.
Initiatives included in the plan are:
- Installing the next generation of ultra-rapid charging points at London petrol stations later this year
- Delivering five flagship charging hubs, with the ability for multiple cars to quickly be charged in one place. The first of these hubs will be operational in the heart of the Square Mile by the end of the year
- A new ‘one-stop-shop’ for Londoners to request new charging infrastructure from their local authority in areas of high demand led by London Councils, making it easier for drivers to switch to electric vehicles
- Expanding electric car clubs and bringing more vehicles to market, offering greater choice to Londoners and businesses
- New online smart tools to ensure London’s energy grid continues to keep pace with demand and to help unlock private sector investment.
The number of EVs in London is forecast to grow to more than 310,000 by 2025, driven by a combination of new low-emission regulations, supportive policy at all levels of government and a decrease in the cost of electric vehicles.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London has stated: “To make this vision a reality we must make sure all Londoners have access to the essential infrastructure required to run and maintain an electric vehicle”. Members of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce stakeholder group have applauded the Mayor for taking the bold measures required to tackle London’s air pollution and enabling the expansion of EV charging throughout London.
When these measures are implemented in full, London is set to become a model for clean mobility and one of the most EV-friendly cities in the world.