The Mayor still has a considerable distance to go if he is to deliver on his aim to see 100,000 electric vehicles on the streets of London, a new report from the London Assembly says today.
Charging Ahead?, by the Assembly’s Environment Committee, says progress has been made since 2009, when the Mayor committed to making London the electric car capital of Europe, but he faces a formidable challenge ahead to achieve his targets.
With 2,313 electric vehicles currently in London, the Mayor is only two percent of the way towards his goal of 100,000 on the streets as soon as possible. There are around 400 charge points across London compared to his recent target of 1300 by next year and original target of 25,000 by 2015.
There are also fewer than 50 electric vehicles in the Greater London Authority (GLA) fleet compared to the Mayor’s aim of 1000 by 2015.
The Committee warns that the Mayor’s current electric vehicles plan will deliver environmental benefits too slowly and calls on him to publish an updated version, clarify his targets and set out timescales for implementing the charging network.
More than £1million was given to boroughs between 2008 and 2010 to install charge points and increase electric vehicle use across London but some boroughs have struggled to secure members for their scheme.
Murad Qureshi AM, Environment Committee Chair said: “Electric vehicles could help improve London’s air quality but only if there are enough of them and they are used over a long period of time.
“Currently progress is slow and we are concerned that it could take many years before we see any environmental benefits from the Mayor’s ambitious plans.
”If the Mayor wants to encourage more Londoners to drive electric vehicles, he must demonstrate that the charging network is adequate and fits with the way people will actually charge their vehicles. It is unclear at the moment whether it is delivering value for money given the sums already spent on it.”
The report notes electric vehicles can offer environmental benefits and have a part to play in trying to clean up London’s environment, but any benefits are likely to be long term and more work is needed to understand the environmental impacts of the technology.
It also highlights the financial incentives available to encourage people to use electric vehicles, including Government grants, and exemption from the congestion charge and free or subsidised parking in some boroughs.
However, uptake is slow which the report attributes to a lack of information about the up-front, resale and ongoing cost of electric cars and worries about the distance vehicles can travel.
The Committee wants to the Mayor to:
- focus more on vehicles such as taxis, light goods vehicles and buses to make a significant impact on air quality and lower CO2 emissions over the short to medium term
- improve on current numbers of electric vehicles in the GLA fleet
- commission research on the full carbon footprint of electric vehicles and work with energy suppliers on the potential for public charging points to use renewable energy.
- develop a communications strategy with the motor industry to increase public awareness and knowledge about electric vehicles and publish real time data on charging points.
Notes for Editors:
- Read the report, Charging Ahead? An overview of progress in implementing the Mayor’s Electric Vehicle Delivery Plan.
- Reports suggest that currently there are more electric vehicles per capita in Oslo than any other capital in the world.
- See Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency(DVLA) statistics on page 11 of the report
- See Mayor’s press release issued 19 May 2009
- See P11 of the report. Only 263 of these charging points are part of the Source London network
- Mayor’s 26th Report to the Assembly, 15 December 2010
- See P19 of the Mayor’s 2009 Electric Vehicle Delivery Plan.
- At MQT on 23 March 2011, the Mayor said there were 49 vehicles, whereas at the 18 May 2011 MQT, he said there were 45.
- See P24 of the Mayor’s 2009 Electric Vehicle Delivery Plan
10. See MQT 3378/2010, 13/10/10
11. The report will be formally agreed on 1 March 2012.
12. Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Environment Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.
- 13. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
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