Earmarking parking spaces for electric vehicle (EV) charging points would particularly benefit London, the chair of the government’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has said.

Sir John Armitt, in a keynote speech at the London First infrastructure summit this morning (12 September), said that getting councils to allocate a portion of their parking spaces as suitable for EV charge points would “especially help” Londoners aiming to switch from petrol and diesel.

This was one of the recommendations in the commission’s recently published National Infrastructure Assessment.

He said: “Unlike residents in many other cities, drivers in London often do not have access to off-street parking, and so this extra provision will be of particular benefit to them. “

Flats and terraced houses, which generally lack off-street parking spaces, make up a bigger share of London’s building stock than many other towns and cities in the UK.

Armitt said that allocating parking spaces for charging infrastructure would improve the take-up of electric vehicles in the capital with knock on benefits in terms of improved air quality.

He also welcomed Thames Water’s commitment, outlined in its business plan submitted to Ofwat last week, to adopt the commission’s recommendation to cut pipe leaks by half by 2050, alongside the continued rollout of smart water meters and a range of investments on sustainable drainage.

Armitt’s call on councils to increase the provision of off-street charging points follows an announcement yesterday by EV Networks (EVN) that it will invest £200 million in developing 200 new fast-charging stations across the UK.

EVN is aiming to rollout the 200 fast charging stations, which it is developing in collaboration with battery storage provider Leclanché, by 2025.

The company, which claims to have identified around 80 sites for fast-charging stations so far, also announced that it is setting up an EV Charging Centre of Excellence in Warwick with Leclanché.

The announcement was made yesterday (11 September) at the government’s Zero Emissions Vehicle Summit in Birmingham where prime minister Theresa May also unveiled £106 million of funding for research and development in low emission mobility.

Sir John Armitt will be speaking at Utility Week’s Congress on 10 October in Birmingham. His talk will focus on meeting the UK’s infrastructure needs.

For more information about the event and to book a place click here.

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