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Zero emission foundation aims to electrify capital

London’s roads could soon be whining with the sound of electric cars if a new campaign gets its way.

Zero Emission Vehicle Foundation, launched by Liberty Electric Cars founder and chief executive Barry Shrier, wants to see 20,000 electric vehicles in the capital by 2012.

That equates to around 0.7% of Greater London’s 2.8 million car parc.

ZEVF anticipates that 1,000 electric vehicles will be sold next year, 3,000 in 2010, 6,000 in 2011 and 10,000 in 2012.

This will be achieved by sales of electric cars and vans from companies like Tesla, Lightning, Modec and Liberty. Buyers will include fleets and private owners.

Shrier said that while a handful of dealers were already selling electric cars, ZEVF was not about controlling sales channels but “facilitating the development of the sector for the development of the city”.

He added that the infrastructure was improving, with support from companies such as E-on, EDF and Scottish Power.

“Anyone can charge their car at home and it is very easy to establish electric in public car parks and underground car parks of high-rise apartment buildings.”

In terms of aftersales, Shrier said the majority of issues with internal combustion engines did not exist in electric vehicles as there is only one moving part. 

Mechanical service items such as brakes can be dealt with by any repairer as it is common to traditional cars.

ZEVF will announce a similar scheme with an energy company in Scotland early next year and hopes to develop it in all major UK cities.

“The country needs a sustainable transport model and we are trying to help speed this up. People do not recognise the vast benefits of electric cars,” Shrier said.

He was unwilling to disclose sales targets for Liberty but said the company hoped to sell 10,000 annually worldwide in five years’ time.

Liberty cars will have warranties but details are yet to be announced.

Electric vehicle batteries last around 100,000 miles or 1,000 cycles – the number of times they are fully charged up and discharged.

  • General Motors Europe will start a feasibility study with Spanish electric firm Iberdrola into setting up a recharging infrastructure for electric cars in UK and Spain. If the outcome is positive, the two companies will enter into agreements with European, national, regional and local governments to support the implementation.

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