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London’s EV infrastructure plan overlooks skills gap

IMI chief executive, Steve Nash

The Mayor of London’s plans to get London ready for an electric revolution does not address the current gap in skills for those that will need to work on electric vehicles (EVs) in future, the IMI has claimed.

Sadiq Kahn presented his strategy on Monday (June 18), which brings together the public and private sector to deliver much needed EV infrastructure.

It includes plans for a network of electric vehicle rapid charging hubs to be established across London.

But Steve Nash, chief executive of the Institute of the Motor Industry (pictured), said: “The IMI has been championing the setting of standards to ensure that technicians are appropriately qualified to work on electrified vehicles through the IMI TechSafe banner.

"And we are keen that the Mayor of London endorses this standard so that motorists adopting this new technology can have confidence that those working on their vehicles are safe.

"By adopting a standard for those working on electric vehicles that people can trust, we also believe that the costs of insuring and servicing electric vehicles will come down, making them accessible to all.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “To truly transform the quality of our air and to tackle the climate crisis London must move away from petrol and diesel cars, with their catastrophic impact on the environment, and towards zero- emission vehicles.

“I want London to lead the world in this ambition, with all new cars and vans on London roads to meeting these standards by 2030, not 2040 as the government is proposing.

“To make this vision a reality we must make sure all Londoners have access to the essential infrastructure required to run and maintain an electric vehicle.

“This is a massive operation and can only be achieved if the public and private sector come together to deliver London’s electric future.”

London currently has more than 20,000 EVs, 1,700 electric taxis and Europe’s largest electric bus fleet.

The number of EVs in London is forecast to grow to more than 145,000 by 2025, driven by a combination of new low-emission regulations, supportive policy at all levels of government and a decrease in the cost of electric vehicles.

The plan aims to build on Transport for London’s rollout of more than 175 rapid charge points across the city, and a growing network of more than 1,100 lamp post charging points delivered by boroughs in residential areas.

This has been complemented by the roll out of the ultra low emission zone.

With a clear focus on the challenges facing motorists and the insurers and garages supporting them, and working with an industry-wide group, the IMI has created the EV Professional Standard to give technicians an easy way to certify their EV competence through the IMI TechSafe banner.

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