Published: 18 June 2019
In 2018, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, developed a new team with plans to create the essential infrastructure which will see London become one of the first cities with vehicle’s moving goods entirely powered by electricity.
The taskforce the mayor has brought together has a set period of time over the coming decades to ease progression for drivers who currently use diesel or petrol based vehicles and convince them to take on electrical vehicles to meet ULEZ standards and become a world-leading example of better transport for the sake of the environment. Partnering with more than 140 organisations as well as various members of the Government over the last year – the project has already begun to see some momentum.
London officials claim an entire fleet of electric vehicles are at the ready to hit the streets, with 20,000 vehicles, including 1,700 electric taxis and the largest electric bus fleet Europe has ever seen. Development has begun to add over 175 charge points across the city which can power vehicles to full in as little as 30 minutes. There are also set to be 1,100 lamp post charging points across the London boroughs and residential locations.
The Mayor’s plans to have roads completely without emissions is part of efforts to improve the quality of air for Londoners and help the environment, but there could be dire consequences for smaller businesses operating within the city who are unable to abide by some of the standards set by officials in the coming years if they are not appropriately compensated or supported.
Speaking on the matter, the Mayor of London said: “London’s air is so dirty and polluted that it amounts to nothing less than a serious public health crisis. It breaches legal limits and blights the lives of Londoners, resulting in thousands of premature deaths every year. We are also facing a climate emergency that threatens the long-term security and wellbeing of every Londoner.
“We need to reject the fossil fuels of the past and embrace an electric revolution in London’s transport. To truly transform the quality of our air and to tackle the climate crisis London must move away from petrol and diesel cars, with their catastrophic impact on the environment, and towards zero- emission vehicles.
“I want London to lead the world in this ambition, with all new cars and vans on London roads to meeting these standards by 2030, not 2040 as the government is proposing. To make this vision a reality we must make sure all Londoners have access to the essential infrastructure required to run and maintain an electric vehicle. This is a massive operation and can only be achieved if the public and private sector come together to deliver London’s electric future.”
Policy Manager for Vans and Urban at the FTA, Denise Beedell shared her thoughts: “The FTA is pleased to see the Mayor of London has committed to ensuring commercial vehicles have access to charging points across London in the near future; an essential step in making his goal of a zero-carbon city by 2050 a reality. But charging points are only one piece of the puzzle; FTA is calling on the government to commit to a nationwide programme of upgrades to the grid infrastructure.
“The costs of increasing grid capacity to accommodate an EV Fleet at a depot can run to tens of thousands of pounds. And if the business moves out of the premises, they cannot take the power upgrade with them, meaning that they are effectively investing in an asset that they do not own; the next occupier benefits from the former occupant’s investment.
”While the FTA and its members fully support the Mayor’s plan to increase the use of electric vehicles, this can only be achieved if the correct infrastructure is in place; while the EV Infrastructure Taskforce Delivery Plan provides clear guidance for planners, energy providers and business, ultimately, the government must play its part too.”
If the City appropriately supports hauliers and couriers as part of the plan to change the roads, more drivers will at least consider the option of electrical vehicles.