London's charging: Fire Brigade installs EV plug-in points
The London Fire Brigade has unveiled 156 electric-vehicle charging points at 76 fire stations and sites around the capital.
Nine of the stations will make their charging points open to the public, as part of the Brigade’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, said: "Electric cars offer big environmental benefits and play an important part in keeping London clean.
“The new charging network not only makes it easy and convenient to charge up a car’s battery, making electric cars easier to use, but also reaffirms London Fire Brigade’s commitment to lead on sustainability in the fire service and reducing our impact on the environment.”
Government funding for the charging-point rollout totalled £592,000, covering 75% of the cost.
The remaining cost was covered by Chargemaster, who were appointed following a competitive tender, to install and manage the charge point sockets.
The company will recoup its expenditure by charging a tariff for recharging.
'When not if'
The Brigade currently uses five electric cars through its lease car scheme and hopes to have a further five in its fleet towards the end of year, thanks to government funding secured from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
Discussing the rationale for the charging points, the 2013 Fire Brigade Travel Plan said: “We know that introducing EVs into our fleet is a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
The Brigade’s low carbon transition arguably began back in 2005, when the UK's first solar-powered fire station was unveiled in Richmond. The station was fitted with PV panels expected to supply up to three quarters of its electricity.
Val Shawcross, chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, told edie at the time: "As a fire authority we find ourselves in the front line of dealing with the effects of climate change.
"The fire brigade is now dealing with flash floods, storm damage and other sever weather incidents so we are facing the problem first hand.
Solar panels have since been installed at 23 fire stations, solar heating at nine fire stations, combined heat and power at 19 fire stations and wind turbines at a further two fire stations.
All three branches of the emergency services have taken step to green up their act, with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary reducing its annual gas consumption by almost 20% across 10 sites by installing new boiler optimisation technology.
In September, it was announced that more than 1,000 local authority vehicles were going to be made greener thanks to £5m of Government funding, including the introduction of solar-powered ambulances.