Tuesday, June 18, 2019

London Plan to Electrify Road Haulage and Private Vehicles Published

Mayoral Taskforce Sets Out Proposals for Cleaner City
Shipping News Feature
UK – Last year Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, created a new taskforce with the intention of planning the essential infrastructure required to ensure the viability of electric vehicles in the metropolis. The EV Taskforce has now outlined the progression required to ease the passage of both private motorists and road haulage freight operations from diesel to electric vehicles. The past year has seen more than 140 organisations, from business, energy, infrastructure, government and the London boroughs, contribute to the work of the Taskforce.

London claims pole position in the race to electrify the streets with currently a claimed fleet of over 20,000 electric vehicles, 1,700 electric taxis and Europe’s largest electric bus fleet. The new plan aims to expand the 175+ rapid charge points across the city (delivering a full charge in 20 - 30 minutes) and a growing network of over 1,100 lamp post charging points currently delivered by boroughs in residential areas.

The mayor has a vision of a zero-emission city and the electrification plan is a key part of his reducing toxic traffic emissions and the plan has a series of initiatives to move forward. These include the roll out of ultra-rapid charging points at London petrol stations later this year; five flagship charging hubs, with the ability for multiple cars to quickly be charged in one place and new online smart tools to ensure London’s energy grid continues to keep pace with demand and to help unlock private sector investment.

The mayor has aspirations to expand ‘electric car clubs’ and provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for Londoners to request new charging infrastructure from their local authority in areas of high demand led by London Councils, making it easier for drivers to switch to electric vehicles. Speaking at the launch of the London EV Infrastructure Delivery Plan at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:

“London’s air is so dirty and polluted that it amounts to nothing less than a serious public health crisis. It breaches legal limits and blights the lives of Londoners, resulting in thousands of premature deaths every year. We are also facing a climate emergency that threatens the long-term security and wellbeing of every Londoner.

“We need to reject the fossil fuels of the past and embrace an electric revolution in London’s transport. 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 hosts 25% of the UK’s electric vehicle charge points, more than any other UK region, with 2,400 public chargers spread over 1,200 locations and the city is now recognised as one of 25 capitals around the world, accounting for half of all electric vehicles. The number of electric vehicles in London is forecast to grow from 20,600 currently to more than 145,500 by 2025. This will be driven by a combination of new low emission regulations, a decrease in the cost of electric vehicles and many private hire fleets transitioning to electric vehicles. Commenting on the release of the plan, Denise Beedell, Policy Manager for Vans and Urban at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), commented:

“The FTA is pleased to see the Mayor of London has committed to ensuring commercial vehicles have access to charging points across London in the near future; an essential step in making his goal of a zero-carbon city by 2050 a reality. But charging points are only one piece of the puzzle; FTA is calling on the government to commit to a nationwide programme of upgrades to the grid infrastructure.

“The costs of increasing grid capacity to accommodate an EV Fleet at a depot can run to tens of thousands of pounds. And if the business moves out of the premises, they cannot take the power upgrade with them, meaning that they are effectively investing in an asset that they do not own; the next occupier benefits from the former occupant’s investment.

”While the FTA and its members fully support the Mayor’s plan to increase the use of electric vehicles, this can only be achieved if the correct infrastructure is in place; while the EV Infrastructure Taskforce Delivery Plan provides clear guidance for planners, energy providers and business, ultimately, the government must play its part too.”

A map of London’s charging points can be seen here.