In a keynote speech at the ‘Evening Standard Plug It In’ event at the Design Museum last week, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan set out his plans for how London will remain at the forefront of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and his aim for London to become a cleaner, green and healthier city.
Khan announced that City Hall has identified sites on the Transport for London Road Network that will be suitable for a further 100 ultra-rapid charge points. The first 25 of these will be put out to tender on 30th November, and 75 more will follow by the end of April next year, with the aim for all 100 to be operational by the end of 2023.
Greater London currently has more than 11,000 public charge points (of which over 820 are rapid or ultra-rapid). The figure accounts for roughly a third of the UK’s total and represents a 170% increase from 2019.
For progress to continue, it is essential that the right sort of EV charging points are built at pace to meet the expected requirement of 40,000-60,000 charging points by 2030, with around 10% of these being rapid charge points. London is on track to meet this target, but to facilitate this ambitious goal, the Mayor wants to go further by facilitating space for a 100 new ultra-rapid charge points.
Ultra-rapid charge points can deliver a full charge in around 20-30 minutes and are therefore most suitable for high-mileage users, such as emergency services, taxis and private-hire vehicles, delivery drivers and local businesses.
“I’m in no doubt that the shift to electric vehicles is imperative to cleaning up our air and bringing down harmful emissions. As a city, we’ve travelled an impressive distance in a relatively short period of time in terms of rolling out the necessary infrastructure and encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles,” said Khan in his keynote speech.
“But the gravity of the threats we face from the climate crisis and toxic air pollution demand that we now redouble our efforts and go even further, even faster.
“It’s vital we don’t take our foot off the pedal now and lose momentum. That’s why my administration has published its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy and set a target of quadrupling – at a minimum – the number of public charge points in London by 2030.
“Freeing up public land to deliver more charging points, and charging hubs, will be crucial to hitting and, hopefully, exceeding this target. And so to that end, I’m pleased to announce that next Wednesday TfL will be putting 25 of its sites out to tender for charge point operators.”
City Hall has identified sites suitable for a further 100 ultra-rapid charge points.
The Mayor’s climate action also aims to create new green jobs for Londoners, with Khan committed to investing in these jobs and skills of the future to help double the size of London’s green economy and establish green jobs within communities that need them most.
The European Association of Electrical Contractors estimates that 200,000 permanent jobs will be created in the electric vehicles sector in Europe, with around 57% of jobs supporting the installation, operation and maintenance of electric vehicle charging points.
More than 4,500 jobs are expected to be created to supporting charging infrastructure in London alone.
Further jobs will also be created beyond London through UK supply chains and associated industries. Electrifying London’s bus fleet by 2030, for example, could drive substantial bus orders in manufacturing locations such as Ballymena, Scarborough, Falkirk and Yorkshire, representing a gross investment into bus manufacturing of £4 billion and supporting 3,000 jobs.
“We must…deepen our collaboration,” Khan continued. “To make it easier and more convenient for Londoners to go electric. To establish our city’s reputation as a world leader in the delivery of charging points and infrastructure.
“And to ultimately build a better London for everyone – a city that is greener, safer, fairer and more prosperous for all. This is my vision for the future of our city and its road network and I hope that, together, we can bring it to life and usher in a new, healthier, electric age for London.”
The next decade will see a fundamental reimagining of how Londoners move around their city as the Mayor moves London towards net-zero by 2030. Electric vehicles will play a key part of this plan alongside encouraging more Londoners to cycle, walk and use public transport.
Khan has also confirmed that he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) London-wide. The expansion will come into effect on Tuesday 29th August 2023 and will operate across all of London up to the existing Low Emission Zone boundary.