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Lack of charging infrastructure curbing EV adoption in London

London Assembly Environment Committee

EV car sales opportunity in London could be curbed by a lack of charging infrastructure, according to Environment Committee

The London Assembly Environment Committee’s report on EVs has called for a pan-London approach on charge points, spearheaded by the Mayor.

While there are now 12,000 EVs in London, only 60% of Londoners have a garage or driveway and would rely on on-street charging.

The London Assembly Environment Committee report found:

  • Encouraging Londoners without their own driveway or garage to get an electric vehicle is the biggest challenge for take-up, as concerns about charging points are deep-rooted.
  • The spread, location and accessibility of electric charging points is more important than the number of charging points, so a strategic pan-London approach is needed. 
  • Car clubs are a golden opportunity to both reduce individual ownership and get more electric cars on the road, instead of petrol and diesel combustion engine vehicles.

Environment Committee’s former chair, Leonie Cooper, said: “The Mayor has a key role to play in spearheading the shift to electric vehicles, preferably not individually owned but shared via car clubs.

“An electric vehicle is a great option for Londoners in the minority of cases when a journey can’t be done by public transport, walking or cycling.

"These cars are cleaner, quieter and much better for the environment. What puts people off though, is not knowing whether they will be able to find a charger.”

The report recommends the Mayor should:

  • In the short-term for a limited period only, encourage all London boroughs to make parking for electric vehicles free or discounted, to drive take-up.
  • Use his profile to spread the idea that charging need not be a barrier to owning an electric vehicle.
  • Offer TfL capital funding to install electric charging points, where private sector investment is not happening quickly enough.
  • Set a target for the percentage of electric cars in London’s car clubs, to ensure car clubs see members sharing the cleanest vehicles.

Cooper said: “We need to get the number and location of charging points right, as well as raise awareness of charging points in the capital. This infrastructure is essential if London is to continue the electric vehicles revolution.”

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