Councils 'need to up the pace' on electric vehicle charging points

10/09/2018
Chris Ames

Some London councils are acting too slowly over the roll-out of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, one of the ‘big six’ energy companies has said.

Kevin Welstead, sector director EV at SSE Enterprise, said more impetus is needed to encourage quicker take up of EV charging points across London, adding that although both the Government and London mayor Sadiq Khan had ‘rightly’ backed the policy, ‘this message has not seeped all the way through’.

‘So far we have installed 762 charging points across London for the Source London network, which when you consider we started this project in May 2015 with an ambition of putting in 6,000, shows that progress has not been rapid,' he said.

 

‘The issue is that we have to effectively negotiate with each of the 33 individual London boroughs so we can install charge points alongside their parking bays and some are more progressive on the EV agenda than others.'

Mr Welstead added: ‘We are determined to help Londoners go green when it comes to EVs – hence all our charging points are powered by our Green Energy tariff - which means the electricity comes from SSE renewable sources.’

London Councils, which represents the capital’s boroughs, suggested that it was unfair to criticise them over a target it had not been involved in setting and pointed out that council transport and planning teams were under ‘immense pressure' following funding cuts.

Cllr Julian Bell, chair of its Transport and Environment Committee, said: ‘London boroughs are committed to supporting environmentally-friendly transport and are leading the way in delivering an effective network of electric vehicle charging points across the capital. Boroughs are set to install more than 1,000 charging points across London by 2020.

He added: ‘As well as targeting charging points where they are most needed, boroughs have a duty to consider the needs of pedestrians and other road users and to make sure these services are delivered to high standards.’

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