Welcome for Department of Transport’s announcement on electric vehicles

The council’s environment spokesman Jonathan Cook has called on the Government to offer financial support to local authorities that have shown they are embracing the electric vehicle revolution.

Cllr Cook’s call to ministers follows the announcement of new Government proposals on Monday that newly constructed homes and offices should include electric vehicle (EV) charging points as standard.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling also announced that new streetlamps should have EV sockets fitted. And he pledged funding for councils willing to expand their EV charging networks.

The council is fitting sockets to hundreds of lamposts

The proposals chime with the actions already being taken by Wandsworth Council for a huge expansion of EV charging infrastructure across the borough.

The council has already begun installing charging equipment to just under 630 lamposts in the borough. This comes on top of 120 charging points being provided by Source London.

This means that Wandsworth is on course to deliver nearly 850 on-street charging points in total. Nowhere else in London is delivering this infrastructure on such a scale.

These will come in the form of:

  • The installation of 380 charging sockets in every available lampost within two pilot zones – in Putney (149) and Battersea (231) – to gauge local demand and encourage more people to go electric. The results from these trial schemes could see this key infrastructure extended to other areas.
  • Outside of these two pilot zones another 245 lamposts are having EV sockets fitted to them in parts of the borough where local people have already “gone electric”.
  • Source London is providing another 120 charging points at various locations across the borough, adding to the 99 already in use at 33 separate places in Wandsworth.
  • And for those who don’t need to own a vehicle but want to enjoy occasional eco-friendly motoring, a new e-car club is being established in Wandsworth – offering a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to car ownership, providing electric vehicles to hire by the hour, day or week.

The installation of so much charging infrastructure is the first phase of a comprehensive £3m council initiative designed to encourage much greater take-up of this greener and cleaner form of transport.

Source London is also busy installing on-street chargers across Wandsworth

In the wake of yesterday’s Government announcement Cllr Cook said: “This is welcome news and shows that the Government recognises the need to support this important new transport technology.

“The Secretary of State visited Wandsworth in April which gave us the opportunity to demonstrate to him the work we have been carrying out to expand this important infrastructure. I hope Monday’s announcement is to some degree a result of that visit.

“The key to persuading drivers to give up their diesel and petrol vehicles and going electric is putting the charging infrastructure in place. The more charging points there are the more drivers will switch.

“Here in Wandsworth we are already well ahead of the game with 850 charging points on the way, but we would certainly like to install more and hope that the Government recognises and rewards those councils that have shown a clear determination to embrace this technology.

“Expanding our charging network even further would offer even more choice and opportunity for electric car owners and complement all the good work that’s already happening here.”

The number of electric vehicles registered in Wandsworth has grown from 127 at the end of 2015 to 408 today – with numbers rising by around ten per cent every three months.

Current projections indicate that some 5,500 electric vehicles will be registered in the borough by 2025 – but with enhanced infrastructure and more charging points that number could rise to nearer 10,000. Existing analysis indicates that Wandsworth already has one of the highest take up rates in London for electric vehicles.

Cllr Cook added: “The 850 charging points we are installing is just the start. We have pledged to deliver many more right across the borough. Ours is an ambitious programme of change which has the potential to achieve a real improvement in air quality. We’ve already done a lot to tackle pollution in Wandsworth and a big expansion in EV infrastructure will help us do even more.”