Every Londoner will be no more than one mile from an electric car charge point by 2015, the Mayor Boris Johnson announced today at the Copenhagen climate summit. The Mayor revealed detailed plans to deliver a comprehensive network of electric charge points in the capital, supporting the mainstream use of zero carbon-emission electric vehicles.
He was addressing city leaders from around the globe to promote London’s advanced plans to make electric cars an everyday feature of life in the capital. London is leading a coalition of major cities working to use their collective clout to create massive global electric vehicle markets through joint procurement commitments.
The charge point plan is the first milestone in the Mayor’s over-arching vision to make London the electric capital of Europe. The strategy shows how by 2015 in London, 22,500 charge points will be at workplaces, with 500 on street and 2,000 in public car parks. A strategic network of publicly accessible faster charge points will be installed as part of this coverage at key locations on the road network and motorway service stations.
To further boost consumer confidence, the Mayor announced Transport for London is working with boroughs to launch in 2010 a one stop website and membership scheme for electric vehicle drivers. Currently electric car drivers have to register in every borough they charge up in, whereas this will provide a single point of information and payment option to access charge points across the capital.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘A golden era of clean, green electric motoring is upon us and London is well ahead of cities around the globe in preparing the right conditions for this.
‘There is an urgent need to tackle the risk of serious and irreversible climate change, yet this does not need to be about hair shirt abstinence. I want to pursue radical yet practical steps to cut energy waste. Electric vehicles are a clear example of how technology can provide the solution to the biggest challenge of our generation.’
The Mayor announced that after detailed investigations to establish operational requirements, early next year the Greater London Authority will publish a detailed procurement framework to buy 1000 electric vehicles for the GLA group fleet by 2015. The Mayor is seeking funding from the Government to help deliver this major introduction of electric vehicles, recognising the massive potential this has to catalyse the market.
Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: ‘This plan provides the road map to switching on an electric vehicle revolution in London.
‘Not only do electric vehicles produce 50 per cent less carbon emissions than their diesel counterparts, they are also cheaper to run. Increasing the numbers of electric vehicle charging points all over the Capital will provide Londoners with the option to use a more sustainable form of private transport that is also more economical to operate.’
The estimated cost of the 25,000 charging points, conversion of the Greater London Authority fleet and other initiatives to kick-start London’s electric vehicle revolution is £60million - the Mayor has pledged to fund a third of this. Transport for London is currently working with a number of private and public sector organisations to pull together a consortium to apply for Government infrastructure funding, available from next financial year. This, along with other government funding, would be transformed into electric vehicle charge points from 2010, electric vehicles for the GLA fleet from 2011 and incentives and guidance for businesses to electrify their fleet.
Electric cars will also deliver considerable benefits to the environment by improving air quality, cutting emissions and reducing noise pollution. Sixty-nine per cent of harmful particulate emissions in London come from road transport whereas electric cars have zero emissions when being driven. Electric vehicles also result in between thirty and forty per cent lower carbon emissions than comparable petrol or diesel cars and this will reduce further over time as the amount of energy - which charges the electric vehicles batteries - generated by renewable sources increases.
Manufacturers are investing hundreds of millions to bring a greater choice of vehicles to consumers. Small and medium cars from major car companies are expected in the next few years starting with Mitsubishi iMiEV in 2010 and Renault, Ford, Nissan and Peugeot planning new models by 2012.
Cities across the world consume 75 per cent of the world’s energy and produce 80 per cent of its climate change emissions. The Summit of Mayors being attended by the Mayor is bringing together representatives from more than 100 cities around the world to champion practical ways to tackle this issue. The event is being held in parallel to the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit just ahead of the culmination of talks to reach a global deal on carbon reduction targets.
The Mayor is attending the Summit in his capacity as Honorary Deputy Chair of the C40 to promote how cities are delivering practical ways to cut carbon emissions and save energy.
Whilst in Copenhagen, the Mayor and nine other mayors from around the world will take part in an event to show climate change programmes in action. He will also participate in a roundtable discussion on low carbon transport with the mayors of Hong Kong, Paris, Kyoto, Nantes, Johannesburg and Mexico City.
The electric vehicle infrastructure strategy launched today is in draft form inviting comments from interested parties by 26 February 2010.