London builds source of power for electric cars

The Source London network of charging points will be a key part of the Mayor’s drive to make London the electric car capital of Europe. Charge points start to be installed for Source London, the pan-London network. TfL signs deal with Siemens to manage Source London support operations.

The installation of 1,300 new charging points to encourage more drivers to use electric vehicles in the capital has begun. The Source London network of charging points will be a key part of the Mayor’s drive to make London the electric vehicle capital of Europe. Transport for London ( TfL ) has also finalised a contract that will see Siemens manage the operation of the network and registration of drivers.

Londoners will begin to see new and branded Source London points strategically located across the city as TfL and its partners begin to install points for the new network of charging points in preparation for its launch this spring. Charging points will be installed by over 40 Source London partners from a range of sectors including Sainsburys, Asda, NCP, Capital Shopping Centres, Scottish and Southern Energy and London boroughs.

At least 1,300 charging points will be installed by the end of 2013 in public locations and streets across the capital. It will mean that by that stage London will have more charging points than petrol stations, giving drivers the confidence to buy into the new technology and providing a boost to the growing electric vehicle market.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "One of the biggest hurdles to greater use of electric vehicles has been a lack of charging points. But now Londoners will see Source London points popping up in locations all over the Capital. By giving increasing numbers of drivers the confidence in electric vehicle technology we will make a considerable contribution to improving our air quality and cutting carbon emissions."

The installation of Source London charging points coincides with the start of what should be a landmark year for electric vehicles as more models arrive in car showrooms. Coupled with the Government’s newly available £5,000 consumer incentive grant for electric vehicles the number of these vehicles on London’s roads and beyond should significantly increase.

The Mayor is keen that as many Londoners as possible take advantage of the grants being offered by the Government and purchase an electric vehicle. Increasing their number in the capital is part of the Mayor’s work to improve London’s air quality and cut carbon emissions. Producing no emissions at the tailpipe and up to 40 per cent less CO2 than their diesel and petrol counterparts, electric vehicles are the nearest to market green technology.

The deal between TfL and Siemens will see Siemens run the Source London back office to March 2014 at no cost to taxpayers. Siemens will operate the management of the network and registration for drivers to use Source London. For the first year annual membership of the scheme will cost £100 per year and charging will then be free at the point of use.

Nick Fairholme, TfL Interim Director of Congestion Charging and Traffic Enforcement, said: "The start of our Source London installation programme and the agreement with Siemens highlights that, even in these economically challenged times, the Mayor and TfL continue to work to make London one of the greenest cities in Europe. London already has the highest number of electric vehicles in the UK; Source London, in conjunction with the new vehicles coming to market this year and the Government consumer grant, will keep us in the lead."

Ralph Griewing, Head of Siemens Worldwide Electromobility Business, said: "Siemens is delighted to have concluded the arrangements for managing the Source London Scheme. As a major investor in London, Siemens recognises the importance of the Source London scheme to the adoption of electric vehicles nationally. By developing both the processes and technology and combining this with our understanding of London as a mega city, Siemens is looking forward to working with TFL to deliver the significant benefits that electric vehicles offer in terms of air quality and environmental improvement, integrated mobility and greener energy supply."

London already leads the way with the highest number of electric vehicles in the UK. Source London, in conjunction with the new electric vehicles coming onto the market this year and the Government’s consumer grant should see a real rise in numbers on the capital’s streets.

In preparation for the boost to this innovative technology a website has been created to provide a single point of information for people interested in buying or running electric vehicles.

At present there are over 250 publically-accessible electric vehicle charging points in the capital, over half of which have been funded by TfL. This is the highest number of charging points anywhere in the UK.

Within Greater London, there are some 17,000 hybrid and pure electric vehicles currently registered with the DVLA – far exceeding numbers anywhere else in the UK. With many of the world’s major manufacturers intending to launch their own electric vehicles in the next six to twelve months, it is expected that this number will steadily increase.

Source London’s network of 1,300 publicly accessible charging points will be capable of supporting many thousands more electric vehicles in London and will help realise the Mayor’s vision of 100,000 electric vehicles in the capital as soon as possible.

Providers of existing charging points in the capital are being encouraged to join the Source London scheme, on top of the 1,300 points set to be installed as part of the initial investment by TfL and its partners.

TfL and Siemens signed an agreement in February 2011. Siemens have committed to run Source London’s IT and back office functions free of charge for three years, significantly reducing TfL’s costs. Just last month TfL announced a separate multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Mastercard to exclusively brand TfL Oyster wallets for 2011.

These deals form a part of the Mayor and TfL’s ongoing commitment to deliver value for money for London’s fare payers, finding innovative ways to develop new infrastructure for this growing market at no additional cost to the public purse, protect the funding of frontline services and maintain the vital investment for the Tube upgrades and construction of Crossrail.