A new network of rapid charge points for electric vehicles across the capital was launched by Sadiq Khan today. The network includes 51 points for use by taxis and is part of the Mayor of London’s bid to improve the capital’s air quality, by helping phase out the use of diesel and encouraging the use of zero-emission vehicles. As of this year no more diesel taxis are being licensed, and all taxis that are licensed for the first time need to be zero-emission capable. Over the past six months Transport for London has worked with suppliers on the installation of 100 rapid charge points across the capital where a vehicle can be charged in 20 to 30 minutes, compared to the seven or eight hours it takes at regular charging points.
The Mayor is also encouraging more Londoners to switch to electric vehicles for personal use, as well as businesses, and is committed to working with the private sector to expand charging infrastructure in the capital. Shell has already installed eight points across London, and Sadiq is urging more businesses to follow its example. New research published today by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), found that bringing forward the move to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 to 2030 would result in a 30 per cent reduction in pollution in 2030. The Mayor’s policies have already led to major investment from the London Electric Vehicle Company, and the report finds that the UK could support over 100,000 jobs in the electric vehicle industry by 2030 – with London’s new rapid charging network in place to cater for increased numbers of electric vehicles on the streets.
Today, Sadiq was given a demonstration of how an electric taxi is charged at a rapid charging point in Southwark Street. He said: “The roll-out of rapid charging points marks a BIG step forward in the shift to zero-emission vehicles, which the capital desperately needs to clean up our toxic air. But widespread change will not happen until a sufficient charging infrastructure is in place, allowing taxi drivers, businesses and Londoners to easily make the switch. “On my watch, TfL has already installed 100 new rapid charge points – despite only five per cent of the city’s roads being under my control. However, we will only reach the numbers we need if the boroughs install these points on the 95 per cent of the network in their control and TfL stands ready to help. I also urge private-sector businesses to work with us on expanding the network and help make lasting improvements to the capital’s air quality.” “The number of electric vehicles in London stands at 10 per cent of the UK total*. Alongside around 2,000 standard charge points already installed across London, at least 150 TfL-funded rapid charge points are set to be in place by the end of 2018 in addition to new infrastructure in residential neighbourhoods. Last April, TfL appointed five suppliers to fund, maintain, operate and install the new rapid charging network across London. Offering 24/7 support and online information on locations and availability, the network allows drivers to use all points regardless of the supplier and pay by credit or debit card, with no requirement to sign up to a membership scheme. Lilli Matson, Transport for London’s Director of Transport Strategy, said: “More taxi drivers taking fares in London’s new green black cabs is a key part of achieving the Mayor’s vision of a zero-emission city by 2050. The installation of an extensive rapid charge point network is central to enabling cabbies to ditch their dirty diesel vehicles and replace them with green alternatives. This significant milestone demonstrates our commitment to supporting the taxi trade, commercial businesses and Londoners in joining the capital’s environmental revolution.”
Chris Gubbey, CEO of the London Electric Vehicle Company, said: “London's cab drivers are at the front line of the city's fight to improve air quality and their support will ensure the successful transition to cleaner vehicles in the capital. Their commitment is already demonstrated by the hundreds of pre-orders for our new range-extended electric taxi. To maintain this momentum, we need London Boroughs to prioritise rapid-charging infrastructure which, in turn, will encourage more drivers to make the switch to zero emission capable vehicles.”