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Councils blamed for blocking electric vehicle infrastructure

Toyota plug-in hybrid

Energy giant SSE has blamed London’s councils for the blocking the rollout of electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

SSE has only fitted 762 EV charging points out of 6,000 planned to be installed in London by now.

And the company claims that local authorities are to blame for the slow progress.

SSE Enterprise electric vehicles sector director Kevin Welstead said: “Progress has not been rapid. The issue is that we have to effectively negotiate with each of the 33 individual London boroughs so we can install charge points alongside their parking bays and some are more progressive on the electric vehicle agenda than others.”

While praising London Mayor Sadiq Khan for backing EV schemes, Welstead added: “Our experience as an infrastructure provider on the ground is that this message has not seeped all the way through.”

The mayor of London launched an electric vehicle infrastructure taskforce in May, focused on “rapid chargers”. Earlier this year, new research revealed that the UK needs more than 80,000 extra electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the next two years.

It comes as Energy UK called on the government to be more ambitious on electric vehicles.

In response a National Infrastructure Commission spokesman said: “Recent figures have shown the increasing demand there is for electric vehicles. Today’s call from Energy UK and business is therefore a welcome recognition of the benefits this can bring to the UK.

“But to support drivers to make the switch from petrol and diesel, our National Infrastructure Assessment recommends that councils work with charge point providers to ensure more of their parking spaces – including on-street parking – can be ready for electric vehicles.

“This should be a key part of delivering a truly visible and national charging network so that as demand for electric cars continues to surge, our infrastructure can keep up.” 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Perhaps those London councils which are less "progressive on the electric vehicle agenda" are more progressive on the mobility of pedestrians, look at the picture used in the article and see it as creating yet more impedimenta and taking more space away from them on already crowded footways? These councils may be more amenable if the proposed charging points were like the Arup 'recharge parklet' example, i.e. in the carriageway (and removing parking spaces if required)?

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