The new cleaner, greener cars with lithium ion batteries, with specially designed livery to distinguish them from traditional petrol and diesel vehicles, will be used by TfL to ensure that roadworks comply with its permit scheme to keep traffic moving. By the end of this year, TfL will have up to 10 electric vehicles in its fleet.
Increasing the number of fleet vehicles is one element of the Mayor’s plans to boost electric vehicle numbers to 100,000 as soon as possible. Over the coming year, 1,600 charge points will be installed across the Capital with numbers rising to 7,500 by 2013 and 25,000 points will be in place by 2015. By then, with 2,500 charge points installed in publicly accessible areas, on average no Londoner will be further than a mile from any charge point.
The number of electric vehicles in mainstream use is forecast to significantly increase in the coming years as many of the leading car manufacturers are planning to launch new electric vehicle models in the UK. The increase of zero-tail pipe emitting electric vehicles, will help to improve air quality and cut climate change emissions, and as the price of petrol and diesel continues to increase they have significantly lower running costs including an 100 per cent exemption from the Congestion Charge.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Very soon electric vehicles and the apparatus needed to support them will be a common sight on London’s streets. We are doing all we can to make it as easy as possible for Londoners to choose electric and by opting for these vehicles in our own fleets, we are helping to stimulate demand and show off their benefits including considerably cheaper running costs."
Managing Director, Lance Bradley commented, “we are delighted that the i-MiEV is continuing its long history of ‘first’ – this time as the first electric vehicles on Transport for London’s planned 1,000 electric vehicle fleet. Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has recognised the strategic importance of London with the opening of its Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle Centre since February in Central London.”
Transport for London is working to make it easier for Londoners to use electric vehicles. Later this year a single London-wide brand for electric vehicles will be launched so that drivers will be able to clearly identify where a charging point is located. This will be supported by a new website providing a one-stop shop of information on electric vehicles and charging points and a London-wide membership scheme will also be launched to enable drivers to access charge points across the Capital – currently electric car drivers have to register in every borough they charge up in.
David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport, TfL said: “The delivery of these new TfL i-MiEVs is another step towards achieving the Mayor’s goal to make London the electric vehicle capital of Europe. TfL is working to help realise the Mayor’s ambitious plans for electric vehicles by investing in the installation of electric vehicle charge points and the use of electric vehicles in London. By 2015 we hope to have even more electric vehicles on London’s roads and 25,000 charge points installed across the city.”
TfL is also encouraging its contractors to incorporate electric vehicles into their fleets. London Streets uses three contractors to deal with emergency and routine maintenance on the Red Route network. All three contractors are now incorporating sustainable vehicles into their fleets, which reduces their carbon emissions and contributes to a greener, cleaner capital city.
The adoption of electric vehicles will deliver significant climate change and air quality benefits. The majority of harmful particulate emissions (PM10), 79 per cent, in central London come from road transport whereas electric cars have zero tail-pipe emissions. Electric vehicles emit thirty to forty per cent lower carbon emissions than comparable petrol or diesel cars. This will reduce further over time as the amount of energy – which charges the electric vehicles batteries – generated by renewable sources increases.
It is estimated that 100,000 electric vehicles could cut London’s carbon output by almost 500,000 tonnes over the next decade as well as save 100 tonnes of NOx emissions and several tonnes of PM10 emissions. This is equivalent to 300 million car trips.
The new infrastructure and the additional electric vehicles on London’s roads will help to encourage Londoners to use a more sustainable form of private transport and support the Mayor’s target to cut London’s CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2025.