One of Source London’s new EV charging point (Photo: Rob Whitson)
London’s electrical vehicle charging point upgrade is long overdue
Despite a Zone 1 address I still, understandably, object to the sound of workers cutting concrete on the street outside, especially when trying to work myself, but not today.
Impatiently leaving my desk to discover what’s causing the nerve shredding noise nearby, any anger soon subsided: paving stones were being cut for a new electric vehicle (EV) charging point.
One of many now being installed across Southwark and Sutton, it replaces an existing point that, like many across the capital, was often out-of-order and so stood unused across both boroughs.
In September 2014 BluepointLondon Ltd. became operator of Source London, the company responsible for management and maintenance of the city’s EV charging point network. Southwark and Sutton are the first boroughs benefiting from a long-overdue, citywide upgrade, when Transport for London then agreed a new deal due to the network’s previously poor record.
BluepointLondon this week signed identical agreements with other London Boroughs: Kensington and Chelsea, Hackney and Greenwich, making them directly responsible for a quarter of all London’s charging points. More seem certain to follow.
Living centrally and not a driver, I never understood why I haven’t seen more motorists capitalising on the benefits of EV ownership. In addition to low fuel costs, vehicle tax and congestion charge exemptions, EVs are now cheaper with more models than ever available. It was only researching this article I discovered the staggering statistics to explain the poor take-up.
Apparently, one of the main reasons London and British drivers do not buy an EV when choosing a new car is: charging point unavailability. There are now a mere 1,400 charging points across all of London and of these, around a third aren’t working.
On most journeys, existing EV owners are usually forced to fall back on fossil fuel their cars carry for the same reason. So not wanting to buy an EV becomes more understandable.
As more cars are built with EV capability despite this, due to EU environmental legislation, Source plans to increase the number of charging points fourfold to 6,000.
Existing points, like the one outside my window, are being replaced with a more advanced and, supposedly, reliable version. Connected centrally via computer, any future faults will automatically be reported and a 24-hour team ensuring these are quickly resolved.
This all reaffirms BluePointLondon’s goal: “encouraging EV uptake by improving and expanding London’s charging point infrastructure. ”
Of course, only time will tell.