A south London borough is proposing a radical plan to install electric car chargers in every residential street by the turn of the year in a bid to inspire motorists to give up petrol and diesel vehicles.
Wandsworth councillors are to discuss the possibility of providing an electric vehicle charging facility in every lamppost within the borough. Plans would see another 50 plugs installed at 20 locations and would supplement the 35 charging points across 11 locations that are already in action. Wandsworth Council say the ambitious proposal would mean owning and running an electric car is a much more attractive and viable option for residents.
Councillor Jonathan Cook said: “The future of motoring is electric. The government has announced that in 20 years time petrol and diesel vehicles will no longer be sold in the UK. This means that councils need to start planning ahead now to make sure we deliver the infrastructure to keep people moving and give people as much choice as possible. Nowhere is this more relevant than here in inner London where air quality is a real concern. Providing as many charging points as possible is the key. We need to made the best use of existing infrastructure and make it as easy and as convenient as we can so that people are encouraged to switch to electric.”
It is expected the measure will be backed by the council on 15 November and officials will then be tasked with exploring the cost and logistics of the project. The council has therefore called for support for the measure from the mayor of London with new chargers said to provide a ‘major boost’ to the mayor of London’s air quality strategy.
Cook added: “This is a bold policy initiative we hope the mayor will support. He has just introduced a T-Charge for older vehicles entering the congestion zone and has also just announced proposals to extend the ULEZ zone to cover all areas of London within the North and South Circular Roads in 2019. Helping to fund a dramatic and radical advance in e-motoring infrastructure is precisely the sort of project that the mayor could support with some of the extra revenue he is now beginning to receive from these new charges.”
The move by Wandsworth Council comes at a time of ever-increasing change within the transport and oil sectors. A total of ten Shell service stations are to be equipped with rapid chargers by the end of the year which will allow drivers to recharge 80% of their battery in half an hour at forecourts in London, Surrey and Derby. Shell said the move has been spurred by the swift growth in battery-powered cars, which now number more than 115,000 in the UK, up from almost zero a decade ago.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is also expected to announce a tax on new diesel cars in the budget next week with the government aiming to stop the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040.