London's mayor unveils plans for 'more EV charge points than petrol stations'

Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled plans to make London the "electric car capital of Europe", including the installation of 1300 EV charging points across the capital.

The new charging network, called Source London, should be in place by 2013. But its goal of 1300 charging points is some way short of the 25,000-points target by 2015 that was outlined by Johnson earlier this year. It's thought that the Greater London Authority has been forced to revise the plan on grounds of cost.

Johnson said, "Already there are more electric drivers in London than anywhere else in the UK, but we are now entering an incredibly exciting period in electric motoring. Major manufacturers are gearing up to launch more affordable, practical electric cars over the next few years, whilst the cost of traditional fuels are making petrol-free driving an increasingly attractive option.

"By opting for electric in greater numbers, Londoners will also help to cut pollution levels and improve the city's quality of living." he added.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said, "We recognise that for many people the car is an essential, not a luxury, and that is why we are prioritising spending on making the UK a world leader in ultra low-emission cars. Following the first round of our Plugged-in-Places scheme, cities like London are laying the groundwork for a national charge point network."

The project aims to create a "single visual identity" for the network, which will be open to motorists for "no more than a £100 annual membership fee". Transport for London is also offering the 'Source' brand to other cities that may want to implement similar schemes.

The scheme will launch formally in spring 2011, but its website is already live at www.sourcelondon.net.

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Comments
10

8 November 2010

I have this horrible, nagging feeling that in the electric versus hydrogen debate we're pursuing the wrong power source. They're spending millions and millions on electric charging points, but if this turns out to be a dead end in a few years we'll be so far behind the times it'll take us forever and a day to change over.

9 November 2010

I like Johnson a lot - and not simply because he's not Ken Livingstone - but worry that his stating the bleedin' obvious like this ('already there are more electric drivers in London than anywhere else in the UK') suggests he is not entirely on top of this one. Like the previous poster I also doubt very much that EVs will turn out to be the right solution in the longer term, especially while they are forced to rely on coal-, gas- and oil-fired generators to provide the power.

9 November 2010

[quote Dark Isle]I have this horrible, nagging feeling that in the electric versus hydrogen debate we're pursuing the wrong power source. They're spending millions and millions on electric charging points, but if this turns out to be a dead end in a few years we'll be so far behind the times it'll take us forever and a day to change over.[/quote]

EVs are the right solution if...

  • you want to reduce concentration of air pollution in city centres
  • journeys are short wih plenty of recharging time
  • you have governments, local authorities and partners (inc manufacturuers) who want a short term and relatively inexpensive way of Showing That They Are Doing Something
  • you can easily build a recharging infrastructure which people can use and doesn't inconvenience (or shock) other road-users and passers by
  • you are prepared to accept that your battery will probably be increasingly useless over time and in cold & poor weather conditions
  • you really can't be bothered to work on a more effective longer-term solution

They're not if you actually want to reduce emissions and pollution en masse - too much electricity still comes from traditional power stations, too much of it is lost down the cables to your plug-in point.

9 November 2010

Good. Hope it stays in London, and does not encourage other towns and cities to follow - then when its a failure in a few years we all won't be paying for decades to come...

To live is to drive

9 November 2010

Although I have a lot of time for Boris, I hadn't realised that he was an expert on EVs. I thought the only form of transport he knew much about was bandwagons......

............aaah, I seem to have answered my own question.

9 November 2010

This is the new bit of news for me "no more than a £100 annual membership fee". Why not cover the cost at point of use?

9 November 2010

The long-term danger to real future solutions is policy-makers choosing technological 'winners' before the race has even got going - nicely discussed by one of American Honda's top execs in a speech at an automotive technology conference earlier this year. A useful bit of extra reading for anyone genuinely interested in the debate:

http://www.hondanews.com/blogs/our-perspectives/2010/05/20/blog-our-perspectives

I know Soichiro Honda came out with some great quotes in his time, but I particularly enjoyed this one:
“When the government passes new regulations, some companies hire 50 more lawyers, while Honda hires 50 more engineers."

9 November 2010

That'll be the same Soichiro Honda, I expect, who flew to England in the early 1980s in order to discuss UFO propulsion technology with Brinsley le Poer Trench, the only slightly mad 8th Earl of Clancarty who edited Britain's 'Flying Saucer Review' and sincerely believed that the majority of UFOs originated not from outer space but from secret bases located deep inside the Earth which were reached via tunnels located at the poles. Despite a lifetime working on this theory he was never able to substantiate it, curiously enough.

9 November 2010

Is it just me, or does the charging point shown in the picture look like a tall pint of Guinness?

9 November 2010

[quote Autocar]The new charging network, called Source London, should be in place by 2013. But its goal of 1300 charging points is some way short of the 25,000-points target by 2015 that was outlined by Johnson earlier this year.[/quote]

It matters citizens of London,I'm not one of them, but since that time it could well be another solutions, like wireless charging batteries:

http://green.autoblog.com/2010/11/01/delphi-partners-with-witricity-on-a...

Real future lies in hydrogen fuel cell technology,unfortunately not near future.

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