Not Enough EV Chargers Says London Firm

Thu 16th Dec 2021

The UK’s capital has the highest ratio of public electric vehicle chargers, but even that is not enough for one of the most regular users of the network.

London taxi firm Addison Lee pledged to turn its entire fleet of cars electric over the next few years, aiming to have 4,000 EVs providing journeys to the city’s commuters. The move is expected to remove 20,000 tonnes of CO2 from London’s roads on an annual basis, but the first phase of the switch has seen some major bumps in the road.

Addison Lee introduced 100 VW ID4s into their fleet in late November, but less than two weeks into the switch, the company’s drivers have complained of ‘key issues’ accessing the charging network.

A survey of the company’s EV drivers found that 93 per cent had not found rapid charging to be a simple process, with 57 per cent finding the chargers broken or damaged, and 37 per cent said it had taken them more than 30 minutes to find a rapid charger.

There are currently estimated to be 600 rapid chargers in London, though Transport for London says that there will be 4,000 by 2030, even if independent research suggests that there will need to be 8,500.

It’s a worrying report, particularly for the rest of the UK where access to chargers is even more scarce. London has a ratio of ten vehicles to every standard public charging point, compared to 49 vehicles per charging point in the north west. But London’s ratio is rising, just two years ago there were only five vehicles for each available charger.

Addison Lee’s CEO, Liam Griffin, is not happy with the current network, saying: “By pledging to electrify by 2023 we are playing our part in reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in the capital. But our commitment is not enough. 

“To meet London’s 2030 net zero carbon target, every fleet operating in London needs to transition to electric as quickly as possible.

“To achieve this requires urgent investment in London’s public charging network. Our experience of our EV rollout so far has highlighted the huge infrastructure challenge we face as a city. 

“Unless we can work together to fix this, we will never reduce carbon emissions to an acceptable level in the capital.”