London Mayor Sadiq Khan has turned to the private sector to increase electric car charging infrastructure in the capital with a nod to rapid charging. 16 organisations such as Shell UK or the RAC Foundation followed the call.
London has been known for its infrastrcuture problems it owes to a changing technological and network ownership landscape but mostly to its localised nature. While the mayoral office and its transport arm TfL have been making efforts, their power is limited to areas and junctions under their control – about 5 percent of mayor roads. So to roll out infrastructure across the entire city, not only the Boroughs, but also private entities must come on board.
So far the new taskforce comprises 16 organisations including UK Power Networks, the British Retail Consortium and the RAC Foundation. Their tasks, including technical workshops run by Transport for London over the summer, will be outlined and a shared Delivery Plan to be published next year.
In addition to petrol stations, businesses and car parks, the participation of boroughs, who manage 95 per cent of London’s roads, is vital. Whilst boroughs have successfully installed thousands of residential charging points, more rapid charging points are urgently needed. Says Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London: “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.”
TfL and the Mayor’s office have started to install rapid charging infrastructure reportedly and have set up a 100 to date with a third being reserved for Black Cabs. TfL plans to fund at least 150 rapid charge points throughout 2018 in addition to new infrastructure in residential neighbourhoods. The Mayor would also like to see rapid charging ‘hubs’, not unlike petrol stations, set up across the city.
In another joint initiative, the introduction of zero emission zones (ZEZ) has been pushed forward to 2020 (we reported).