London’s EV charging infrastructure gets funding boost


Almost £4.5m (US$5.8m) has been allocated to London boroughs to install electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure on the city’s streets, as part of Transport for London (TfL) and the London mayor’s ambition to increase the use of electric transportation in order to lower emissions and tackle the UK capital’s polluted air.

A total of 25 boroughs, each receiving up to £300,000 (US$391,000), will install up to 1,500 standard-speed on-street charging points in residential areas, bringing London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s long-term vision for zero-carbon transport in the city another step closer.

The new funding will provide residential charge points to assist those without access to off-street parking to make the switch from polluting vehicles to zero-emission vehicles. They will be in addition to the network of rapid charge points TfL is installing by the end of 2020.

The new financial aid forms part of an award London received from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) Go Ultra Low City Scheme, a nationwide competition to give several areas funding to increase EV usage.

The boroughs have sought funding allocations based on perceived demand and EV takeup. Borough teams will now work to identify sites where charging points could be installed to support residents as they make the switch to greener vehicles.

The chargers delivered using this funding will be either specially constructed ‘freestanding’ units, or will use innovative new approaches, such as using existing lampposts as the base and power supply for charge points. These are cheaper, quicker and easier to install, with less impact on the streetscape.

This latest boost for the introduction of EVs comes just weeks after TfL appointed the suppliers that will provide the rapid charging points that the city needs to make it easier to go electric. After a competitive bidding process, the Centrica Consortium, BluepointLondon, Chargemaster, Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Fastned were successful, and they will fund, maintain, operate and install the rapid charge network.

“This substantial investment in electric charging points will make a real difference, making electric vehicles an easier and more practical option for Londoners. We have a bold ambition to make London’s transport system zero emission by 2050, and working with boroughs to roll out more charging infrastructure, is a vital part of making this a reality,” explained Khan.

“I’m calling on ministers to step up their investment in charging infrastructure to ensure every Londoner can look at moving to electric vehicles over the coming years.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).