While London is in itself a mini economy, there is no doubt that the authorities controlling London's roads and transport systems are very much in tandem with the rest of the UK in pushing the electric vehicle market. The authorities have announced a range of electric vehicle charging venues at underground stations across London which will literally allow EV uses to park their car, hook up for a recharge, jump on the underground and travel to work.
The fact that electric vehicles are also exempt from the much criticised London congestion charge is also catching the eye of environmentally friendly motorists. So what exactly does London have to offer and what does the future hold for the UK electric vehicle charging sector?
12 EV charging stations at London Underground locations
The idea of installing electric vehicle charging points at an array of underground stations across London will certainly assist those working in the region. Each of the 12 charging stations is able to charge two vehicles simultaneously, with either a fast or rapid charging service available. This is part of the UK government’s £28 million investment in EV charging stations and the fact that all of the installations in question are part of a wider ranging data collection program certainly shows its benefit to the long-term evolution of electric vehicle travel.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Ford Motors has recently announced plans to make funding available for workplace charging points as a means of kick starting the electric vehicle market. We have seen a number of similar ventures over the years although it seems that governments and car manufacturers around the world are now coming together to give the boost required."
An array of authorities, private companies, and motorists across London have been brought together with utility companies who are looking at delivering low carbon electric for the EV industry in the future. There is no doubt that as EV travel becomes more popular there will be issues to address for utility companies and if they are able to create a system which is supply driven and highly efficient, especially in the production of low carbon electricity, this will be a win-win situation for the environment and EV motorists.
The data collected will be priceless
At this moment in time UK Power Networks is working in tandem with the Imperial College London to analyse data from 77 residential, 66 commercial, and over 1000 public charging points across London. It will allow the parties involved to see peak use times and more popular locations therefore helping to create a strategy going forward to deliver the most efficient electricity at peak times.
There is no doubt that London is being used as something of a testbed for this particular technology and with the Mayor of London encouraging motorists to go "green", perhaps this is the perfect venue. We should see the first reports of recharging installation usage in the short to medium term and this will certainly be used as a blueprint for other local authorities up and down the country looking to introduce their own electric vehicle charging networks.
It is worth noting that outside of London the north-east of England offers the largest number of electric vehicle charging stations and is indeed itself becoming something of a hotbed for EV research and technology. The Nissan plant at Sunderland has already been earmarked as potentially the centre of the U.K.'s EV industry of the future and it certainly seems as though some of the bigger names in the automobile industry are convinced that EV travel really is the future.