EDF want more electric car charging points

Electricity giant EDF wants to see more car charging points installed on the streets of London following the mixed success of a scheme in Westminster.

Peter Thorn, head of innovation and partnerships, said the company believed the electric car market was going to grow significantly in the capital – particularly with the forthcoming release of new cars from Smart and Toyota.

EDF wants to install the infrastructure as quickly as possible before the market takes off, Mr Thorn told delegates at the Ecobuild exhibition in London.

The company joined forces with Elektromotive, a manufacturer of electric car chargers, last year to provide 250 car charging points to councils across the UK by the end of March.

They installed two in Covent Garden last year and Westminster Council announced in January that it plans to install ten more despite limited use of the initial facilities.

“The usage levels in Westminster were quite low, especially in Southampton Street,” Mr Thorn admitted. “But customer satisfaction was very high.”

He argued demand for on-street car charging is expected to increase as electric cars become more popular and manufacturers such as Toyota build more attractive electric cars.

He said: “The reason we need to do it is that it won’t be very long before the plug-in Prius arrives and that will really change things. That is when it will become a very acceptable form of transport.”

He added: “We want to get the infrastructure in as quickly as possible to help and encourage it if we can.”

Mr Thorn said electricity generation is also becoming cleaner, meaning that electric cars will be the most environmentally-friendly way to drive.

“There’s absolutely no doubt about the benefits of electricity car usage as far as carbon is concerned,” he said.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie