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Huge disparity in electric car charge points across London

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 08/03/2021 Rachael Burford

A huge disparity in the number of electric vehicle charging points Londoners living in different parts of the capital can access is revealed today.

Campaigners today warned councils and the Government must take “urgent” action if the UK is to reach its target of getting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Data from the Department for Transport shows the wealthiest inner London boroughs have up to 360 car charging points per 100,000 people, while some outer London areas have fewer than eight. Think-tank Policy Exchange has said there was a risk of creating “charging blackspots” in some areas unless the rollout speeds up.

Kensington and Chelsea (269) Westminster (247) and the City of London (360) had the highest number of points per 100,000 people.

While Havering and Hillingdon were at the bottom, with fewer that eight chargers per 100,000 people.

Tower Hamlets came bottom of the inner London boroughs with 78 charging points overall (24 per 100,000 residents), the data from the beginning of the year shows.

Mayor John Biggs said: "As London’s fastest growing borough, we need investment in our infrastructure to allow residents and visitors to get around safely, efficiently and in an environmentally friendly way.”

However, the council said it had already started installing a further 182, which would all be in place this year. They are integrated into street lamps and paid for by City Hall and Government grants. London now has around 6,000 charging points for electric vehicles overall.

Last year it was revealed the capital needs to massively increase its numbers if it is to share in Boris Johnson’s “green industrial revolution”.

Mayor Sadiq Khan released £10m of funding, announced in November, plus a further £40m for the two years from April 2021 to pay for green energy and transport initiatives.

From October, the existing central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will also expand to be bounded by the North Circular and South Circular, with a £12.50 daily charge for vehicles that do not meet the emissions standards.

Mr Khan said: “It’s essential we help more people move away from petrol and diesel cars to tackle the twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency.

“There is much more to do and we need to go even further and even faster which is why in October this year I am expanding the Ultra-Low Emission Zone up to the North and South Circular roads. It’s more important than ever that the public and private sector work together to speed up the transition to zero emission vehicles.”

Ben Nelmes, Head of Policy at NewAutomotive, a research group supporting the uptake of electric vehicles, added: “We urgently need to see central and local government working together to use the available data to get more electric vehicle chargers on the street if we are going to get to net zero by 2050.

“Councils need to start preparing now to make sure the infrastructure for electric vehicles is in place. They must have a strategy which looks across policy areas including planning, roads and housing to get everything ready.”

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