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New London scheme claimed to boost EV popularity

The appeal – and viability - of electric vehicles in London has been given a boost today with launch of the Source London scheme, a city-wide network of more than 1,300 charging points planned for installation by the end of 2013.

Members of the scheme will need a card to access all the charging points regardless of which borough in London they live.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: “I want to rapidly accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles and make London the epicentre of electric driving in Europe.

" Increasing numbers of motorists are opting for cleaner, greener electric transport, delivering a host of benefits to the driver including a 100 per cent congestion charge discount.

"This is set to deliver considerable environmental benefits to our city.

“Through Source London we want to give drivers the confidence that they can plug into this fantastic new motoring technology.”

Nissan has responded by offering Leaf owners in the scheme living within 40 miles of the scheme’s charging points free re-charges.

Source London could give impetus to the much lauded government grant aimed at easing the burden on driver’s pockets of the high cost of electric-only motoring.

It has so far failed to spark considerable consumer interest.

The new all-electric Nissan Leaf, which qualifies for the £5,000 government subsidy, has only attracted 550 orders so far.

The Government has set aside enough subsidy money for 8,500 EVs.

Mitsubishi Motors UK director of sales and marketing Toby Marshall said: “Electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi i-Miev are now an affordable, viable mode of transport and with infrastructure provided by schemes like Source London, implementing a strategic network of charging points, means that electric vehicles are at last becoming a reality.

"Such schemes will help eliminate ‘range anxiety’ by giving electric vehicle owners the confidence that they will never be far from a charging point in London.”

From January private and business buyers of EVs were eligible for up to 25% off the cost of a plug-in car, limited to £5,000.

However, the Government intends to review the £43 million fund in February 2012, spelling long-term uncertainty for businesses, in particular, looking to invest now.

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