Let’s try again may be BluePoint London’s new year resolution. The British arm of Bolloré wants to install an additional 1,000 charge points in London over the course of 2018 but it’s not its first attempt to electrify the UK capital.
In fact, Bluepoint had been trying to take an active part in London’s EV infrastructure efforts since 2014 (we reported). It was then that the Bolloré subsidiary acquired the Source London network from Transport for London (TfL) with the promise to operate and renew the network.
Little did the French know how London’s inner working would make any fast progress difficult because with the change of contract, it came down the the boroughs to renew their agreement. By now, 20 out of 33 districts have agreed to Bluepoint as their EV charging provider and another six are said to consider joining.
There were 1,400 charge points in the initial Source network, some of which Bluepoint had managed to replace or repair since. With the new addition of another 1,000, the network could grew considerably and Bluepoint said its repeated endeavour is due to demand having doubled this past year.
“This surge in usage shows that electric vehicle users increasingly need a far more comprehensive network of charge points,” stated Bluepoint London.
The expansion of the London network comes amidst similar commitments from other operators to increase the number of charge points. Also TfL just recently appointed five firms to install charging infrastructure for the black cabs that must drive electrically from next year. Bluepoint was among the contractors.
The slow progress had one advantage though, Bluepoint London has only spent 25m of the 100m pound budget earmarked to roll out the infrastructure, meaning further expansion is possible in line with demand.
The EV rental service BlueCity is finally growing too with successful trials in Hammersmith and Fulham as well as Gatwick airport being spread to other boroughs of London.