MD2432 Rapid Electric Vehicle Charge Point Delivery

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
12 March 2019
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

Tackling air pollution in London is a high priority for the Mayor of London given its impact on public health and health inequality. Increasing zero emission vehicle infrastructure in London is part of the Mayor’s London Environment Strategy and Mayor’s Transport Strategy to encourage uptake of switching to cleaner modes of travel.

As part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy Transport for London (TfL) are supporting the installation of 300 rapid charge points (RCPs) in 2020 across London. Charge points are installed along the TfL managed Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) and private land, as well as with London Boroughs on borough highway and borough land. In order for TfL to ensure there are sufficient electric vehicle charge points across the whole of Greater London, TfL have identified that London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has capacity for four new RCPs on LLDC owned land.

This decision is to seek approval for TfL to provide £26,700 in grant funding to LLDC for the enabling works and power connections in relation to installing four RCPs. This decision requires Mayoral approval as the giving of Mayoral consent under sections 120 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to the making of capital grants between Greater London Authority (GLA) and a Functional Body and/or between Functional Bodies is a Reserved Mayoral Matter in the Mayoral Decision-Making document.


That the Mayor:

Approves the making of a capital grant of £26,700 from one functional body Transport for London to another functional body, London Legacy Development Corporation, under section 120 of the GLA Act 1999 and authorises officers to agree arrangements under which the grant is to be applied towards expenditure incurred for the purposes of, or in connection with, the discharge of the functions of the London Legacy Development Corporation to which the grant is made.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Mayor of London has aims to reduce London’s transport network emissions to zero by 2050 – this will bring improvements in air quality and improve public health and reduce health inequalities. To achieve this the Mayor has planned an ambitious Air Quality Programme and as part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, Transport for London (TfL) aim to transform London’s streets and transport infrastructure to support and accelerate the shift to zero emission technologies. Zero emission capable (ZEC) is the collective term for vehicles that can operate with zero exhaust emissions, including electric vehicles.

In London, the current charging infrastructure is dominated by ‘slow’ charge points (usually takes between 6-12 hours to fully recharge an electric vehicle battery). These are suitable for most Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) operators, who often charge overnight. However, taxi, private hire and commercial vehicle (freight and fleet) operators need to be able to quickly recharge their vehicles during their shifts in London. Without a network of rapid charge points (typically able to charge an electric vehicle battery to 80% capacity within an hour), these drivers have stated that they would be less likely to invest in new ULEVs, including ZEC taxis.

To support an increase in ZEC on London’s roads and particularly support high mileage drivers that would depend on a network of ZEC charging infrastructure to support their work, the Mayor has committed to a Rapid Charge Point Project (‘the Project’) increasing the number of electric vehicle rapid charge points (RCPs) across Greater London.

As part of this Project, the Mayor and TfL successfully installed 150 RCPs by the end of 2018 and have committed to install an additional 150 RCPs by the end of 2020, taking the total to 300.

The Mayor has invested £18 million to deliver RCPs on Transport for London’s Road Network (TLRN) and private land, as well as with London Boroughs on borough highway and borough land.

TfL have identified that to contribute to the delivery of this project, further RCPs are required on land around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. As this land is owned by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), TfL have decided to provide grant funding of £26,700 to LLDC to support the enabling works associated to the installation of four RCPs on LLDC land such as feeder pillar installation costs, power supply and cable containment. LLDC will procure a private company to install, run, and maintain the RCPs which will be open for public use.

This matter requires a Mayoral Decision as the giving of Mayoral consent under sections 120 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (the “Act”) to the making of capital grants between the GLA and the Functional Body and/or between Functional Bodies is one of the specified areas set out in the Mayoral Decision-Making Document that is reserved to the Mayor.

This project will also support the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that the Mayor will launch in central London on 8 April 2019. This is the largest, earliest and most comprehensive of all the UK Clean Air Zones to be implemented and its success at removing the most polluting vehicles from London’s roads is vital to the Government achieving legal limits for air quality as soon as possible in accordance with its UK Air Quality Plan (2017). The ULEZ is based on the Euro emission standards and sets Euro 6/VI as the compliant standard for diesel vehicles and Euro 4 as the compliant standard for petrol vehicles. The successful rollout of a network of electric vehicle charge points, slow as well as rapid ones across London, will be vital to encouraging drivers to switch not only to newer diesel or petrol vehicles, but to make the transition to electric vehicles.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective is to enable the Mayor’s project of delivering 300 RCPs in 2020 by transferring funding from TfL to LLDC to support the delivery of four RCPs on LLDC land.

The delivery of these RCPs will contribute to the overall aims of the project, which are to improve air quality, by accelerating the transition of London’s taxi, private hire, other commercial and private vehicles to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

Equality comments

The Mayor, GLA and TfL are subject to the “public sector equality duty” contained in s 149 of the Equality Act 2010. This duty requires each body to have due regard to three outcomes when exercising their functions: (1) the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; (2) to advance equality of opportunity between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and (3) to foster good relations between such people.

There is currently significant exposure of the London population to air pollution. Although this exposure is predicted to decline significantly by 2020, current modelling results show that in 2020 there will still be more than 300,000 people living in locations with average NO2 levels above the EU legal limit value. In contrast, average concentrations of particles (PM10 and PM2.5) were, by 2010, already within EU Limit Values for the annual average concentrations.

Populations living in the most deprived areas are on average currently more exposed to poor air quality than those in less deprived areas. A recent independent report by Aether published by the GLA showed that those people living in the most deprived areas were on average exposed to 24% more nitrogen dioxide air pollution than those living in the least deprived areas.

The project is considered likely to be beneficial for groups with protected characteristics as it will contribute towards improving air quality by successfully resulting in a zero emissions city by 2050 and reducing health inequality. The Aether report showed that while everyone will benefit from improved air quality, those living in the most deprived areas would benefit the most on average. The pollution exposure ‘gap’ between the least and most deprived areas is expected to fall by around 70% by 2030 as a result of the ULEZ and other Mayoral air quality policies.

Furthermore, enabling LLDC to implement this project will contribute to the wider programme, which will support electric taxis, private hire drivers, and freight and fleet vehicles to switch to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) and avoid the ULEZ charge.

Other considerations

a) Risks and issues

Taxis alone are estimated to contribute 26% of the current NOx emissions in central London. One of the main barriers that in particular high mileage drivers face when switching to a cleaner vehicle, is a network of RCPs. Without the implementation of this project, there is a risk that a limited network of RCPs will be delivered that could result in a comparatively low uptake in ZECs and consequently risk lower reductions in NOx emissions than if the project was implemented.

Two barriers prevent private industry leading on rapid charging infrastructure; these are the complexities of securing suitable sites and the costs of upgrading power supplies. Without the Mayor’s financial support for implementing this project private industry alone will not be able to deliver a network of RCPs to support the private sector to switch to cleaner vehicles.

b) Links to Mayoral Strategies and priorities

London Environment Strategy

The Mayor’s London Environment Strategy was published in May 2018 and prioritises reaching legal air pollutant levels as soon as possible.

Proposal 4.2.4.b states:

“The Mayor will work with the government to achieve full legal compliance with UK and EU legal limits as soon as possible. Comprehensive and coordinated action is needed at a national level to achieve legal limits as quickly and effectively as possible. A national vehicle scrappage fund is essential if compliance costs to people and businesses of such action is to be minimised. It is only right that the government provides this help, given that national fiscal policy has encouraged dieselisation over many years, meaning many people bought polluting vehicles in good faith.”

Proposal 4.2.1.d states:

“The Mayor aims to reduce emissions from private and commercial vehicles by phasing out and restricting the use of fossil fuels, prioritising action on diesel.”

Proposal 4.2.1.e states:

“The Mayor aims to reduce emissions from freight through encouraging a switch to lower emission vehicles, adopting smarter practices and reducing freight movements through better use of consolidated trips.”
Mayor’s Transport Strategy

The Mayor’s Transport Strategy published in March 2018 refers to taking action to reduce emissions from vehicles on London’s streets. Policy 6 states:

“The Mayor, through TfL and the boroughs, and working with stakeholders, will take action to reduce emissions – in particular diesel emissions – from vehicles on London’s streets to improve air quality and support London reaching compliance with UK and EU legal limits as soon as possible. Measures may include promoting electrification and responsible procurement. “

Financial comments

Mayoral approval is being sought to authorise the transfer of funds totalling £26,700 from TfL to LLDC under section 120 of the GLA Act 1999. This MD also seeks approval to authorise officers to agree arrangements under which the grant is to be applied towards expenditure incurred for the purposes of or in connection with the discharge of the functions of the LLDC.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

TfL will work with LLDC to deliver the installation of 4 RCPs by April 2019 ahead of and to support the introduction of the ULEZ in April 2019.

This approval is to transfer the funds to pay for the work undertaken by LLDC.

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