Londoners at risk of ‘charge rage’ says new City Hall report

A report by members of the Greater London Authority has warned of ‘charge rage’ due to insufficient charging points.

The report by the Conservative group in City Hall has revealed there may not be enough charging points for electric cars, despite the push by the government for all cars on sale to be electric by 2040.

It is claimed that there will just be one charging point for every 15 cars by 2031, leading to motorists fighting to use the limited facilities.

A spokesman said the claim was based on information from the US, if “the predicted demand for electric car charging point is not met.”

“Drivers in the US have already been involved in heated disputes as they compete over a shortage of points,” they added.

The Department of Transport have already predicted that electric car sales will rise by 172 per cent every five years and the number of charging points in London are set to double in 2018.

Furthermore, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to invest £30 million in ‘rapid-charing’ points which manufacturers say can provide 80 per cent top up in 30 minutes.

But current TfL plans include a mere 300 rapid charging points by 2020, meaning many drivers will be left using the infrastructure which takes up to eight hours to fully charge a vehicle.

The developments in electric cars are particularly important for the private hire industry, and especially in city centres like London and where environmental targets have already or may result in extra tariffs for drivers of petrol or diesel cars. Chief executive Matthew Kendall said authorities “need to ensure infrastructure is in place to allow businesses to make the switch to hybrid and full electric.”

“The benefit of a petrol or diesel powered engine to a driver or a dispatcher is the easy availability of service stations but, as this report shows, this is not the case for electric vehicles.

“For private hire companies there is the added need of being able to calculate distances between charging points so they can give the best service to their passengers and not leave anyone waiting.

“Here at Zoom we work closely with the private hire companies to develop algorithms that will offer jobs to electric cars taking into account their battery range.

“But it’s not just cities where the infrastructure is needed: towns and villages in the UK rely on a private hire network be it for business, social or people who are unable to drive themselves. The industry is ready to do what it can to lower emissions but companies needs to know the authorities making these rules are keeping to their side of the bargain.”

Already cars or vans (not exceeding 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) which emit 75g/km or less of CO2 and that meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality qualify for a 100% discount on the Congestion Charge.

Since January 2015 the requirement for all newly licensed PHVs in London mean that full electric and petrol hybrid vehicles which emit less than 110mg/km carbon dioxide, as defined by the manufacturer, are exempt from the five year rule. This was introduced as part of the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy in 2012 to recognise these types of vehicles emit less Nitrous Oxide, PM10 and carbon dioxide than conventionally powered vehicles.

An eligible vehicle must be full electric, petrol parallel hybrid or petrol full series hybrid.

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