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Do Londoners Dream Of Electric Cars?

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There are 12,000 electric vehicles in London - a figure which has increased tenfold since 2012 and could limit the number of people owning an electric vehicle in the capital.

There are 12,000 electric vehicles in London, that’s ten times as many as in 2012. But the growth in the number of electric vehicles in the capital is outstripping the number of charge points and this could limit the number of people owning electric vehicles, at a time when it is essential that Londoners move away from internal combustion engine vehicles. 60% of Londoners do not have their own garage or driveway and would therefore need to rely on electric on-street charging.

The London Assembly Environment Committee has published its report on electric vehicles, which calls for a pan-London approach to electric charging points, spearheaded by the Mayor.

The report found:

- Encouraging Londoners without their own driveway or garage to get an electric vehicle is the biggest challenge for take-up, as concerns about charging points are deep-rooted.
- The spread, location and accessibility of electric charging points is more important than the number of charging points, so a strategic pan-London approach is needed.
- Car clubs are a golden opportunity to both reduce individual ownership and get more electric cars on the road, instead of petrol and diesel combustion engine vehicles.

The report recommends the Mayor should:

- In the short-term for a limited period only, the Mayor should encourage all London boroughs to make parking for electric vehicles free or discounted, to drive take-up.
- Use his profile to spread the idea that charging need not be a barrier to owning an electric vehicle.
- Offer TfL capital funding to install electric charging points where private sector investment is not happening quickly enough.
- Set a target for the percentage of electric cars in London’s car clubs, to ensure car clubs see members sharing the cleanest vehicles.

Leonie Cooper AM, former Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “The time is ripe for London to take charge, if we want to future proof this city for an electric car revolution. The Mayor has a key role to play in spearheading the shift to electric vehicles, preferably not individually owned but shared via car clubs.

“An electric vehicle is a great option for Londoners in the minority of cases when a journey can’t be done by public transport, walking or cycling. These cars are cleaner, quieter and much better for the environment. What puts people off though, is not knowing whether they will be able to find a charger.

“We need to get the number and location of charging points right, as well as raise awareness of charging points in the capital. This infrastructure is essential if London is to continue the electric vehicles revolution."


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