Rapid electric charging point network (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
November 16, 2017
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Thank you very much.  You have previously said to me that you hope to have 75 rapid charging points by the end of December.  The numbers you have given me suggest by the end of November there will be 44.  Do you think you are going to be slightly short of meeting your 75?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you for your question.  Thank you for your work in this area as well.  We will be working on more than 75.  I think it is contingent on planning, there is some delay with planning.  We think we are okay with the high capacity power connection, the blockage may be planning.  The good news though is not just the 75 sites we are working on -- so some may just be on the other side of January-- but across London we are working on 130, but if it goes over by a week, two, three weeks but we are working on more than 75 at the moment.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Assuming you reach all these targets I think you have got a plan for 300 rapid charging points by 2020 but in some ways, that is a drop in the ocean when you look at there is a 110,000 taxis and private hire vehicles, thousands of commercial vans, and if you do the maths an electric charging point, even if it is used back to back over 24 hours, can only provide a full charge to 48 vehicles a day.  If you put in the full 300 it is only about a tenth of the taxi and private hire fleet who would be able to be charged on any one day.  I am wondering what further action you are doing, perhaps working with the suppliers you mentioned earlier, to make sure there is this comprehensive rapid charging network?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Firstly I am a bit more optimistic than you are.  At the end of this year, 2017, there are zero Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis on the road.  By the end of next year we think there will be about 3,000.  By the end of 2019 about 6,000.  By the end of 2020 about 9,000.  Also, do not forget the advances in battery technology but we are working, you are right, with the suppliers and with others in relation to accessible rapid charging points because you are right if you are a busy commercial driver, could be PHVs, could be black taxi, could be a lorry van, you cannot afford to go back home and stay overnight and charge it up.  We need to make progress and I will tell you this, no other city around the world is making the progress or has the ambition that we have.  I have looked at New York, Madrid, Barcelona and other cities, we are ahead of schedule and we have got more ambitious plans than anybody else.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Okay but one example, Addison Lee, one of the operators in London, has 4,200 vehicles.  They want to move over to fully electric fleets but they would need 330 of these rapid charging points just for their fleet alone.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I would be astonished if Addison Lee overnight are going to buy 4,000 ZEC vehicles.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  I am just saying if there is ambition, there are people wanting to do that, you are going to need to have a far greater network than the 300 or so that you are putting in place.  Even though I really welcome that, and given the mileage that taxis and private hire vehicles have around our streets, about 150 miles a shift, I really want -- almost you need tenfold of your 300 planned to really actually be able to make sure these fleets can operate on the cleaner vehicles.  I am wondering what additional things you are going to be doing to make sure we can expand further rapid charging points in London.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  What, more than 300 by 2020?


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  Yes.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  We can pluck figures out of the air but we have got to be realistic and ambitious.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  These are not plucked, this is from a really good research report.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I am happy to take representations about how we fund that and I am sure, like all Lib Dem plans, they are fully costed but the reality is we are being more ambitious than any other city in the world.  We are going to take on board the concerns around UK power networks, understand the delays around planning.  I am sure she is talking to all London councillors and others about planning.  One of the big concerns is the size of the rapid charging point; they are like a big fridge freezer which causes concern to residents.  Some of the councils are going for the standard charging around lamp posts, the problem with those is they take longer.  You are talking about 50kw versus 7kw, versus 3kw, and so it is easy to make promises about 3,000 rapid charging points.  I am looking forward to seeing that report.


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM:  I am just saying that is what you are going to need if you really want this fleet to be operating on it.  I just wanted to see what else you were looking at doing.  That is what I was suggesting.  I will make sure this report has been sent to your office as well.


There are currently no answers available.