London to gain additional 1,000 EV charge points

London's electric vehicle transition has moved a step closer with the news that the capital's leading charging network is ready to deploy an additional 1,000 charge points across the city.

BluepointLondon, which operates the Source London network, has now secured partnerships with 20 London boroughs to deliver charge points after signing a deal with Tower Hamlets towards the end of 2017.

The company says it has only spent a quarter of the £100m budget allocated to transform London’s EV infrastructure, with almost 1,000 charge points in a Ealing warehouse awaiting deployment.

“Source London continues to be London’s leading charging network and we are extremely pleased to be working with 20 boroughs across London,” BluepointLondon’s managing director Christophe Arnaud said.

“Nevertheless we are still far behind other capitals and witness daily the appetite of Londoners for EVs. Providing them with the right infrastructure is essential and only an immediate collaborative effort from all of London’s local authorities will enable us to find the best possible locations for the 1,000 points we have waiting in storage.”    

According to BluepointLondon, the number of Source London monthly charges doubled over the course of 2017 to reach just under 50,000 cycles. This demonstrates that EV users increasingly need a far more wide-ranging infrastructure system, the group insists.

Infrastructure changes

Many industry players such as Uber have criticised London’s “woefully inadequate” charging network. In response, The Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL) have allocated £4.5m to 25 London boroughs to roll-out 1,500 new charging points.

Steps have been taken to provide residents in the capital with access to off-street parking to charge EVs. Charging facilities which draw on 100% renewable energy from street lamp posts are set to be placed on the streets of Kensington and Chelsea, creating the largest network of its kind in central London.

With the latest national figures showing that electric car registrations have risen by around a third over the past year, the debate is starting to shift from “range anxiety” to the need for infrastructure changes to facilitate the rise of EVs.

Commenting on the current situation, power management firm Eaton’s EMEA mobility segment manager Delphine Clement said: “The industry will think much more about how to work closely with the likes of major supermarkets and petrol stations to ensure sufficient charging points are installed throughout Europe.

“This process will require the industry to consider what types of chargers should be installed and who will need to use them – influenced by user behaviours, autonomous vehicle uptake, commercial fleet management and external factors such as geography.”

George Ogleby

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