SSE has said it is worried the message that electric vehicles (EVs) are here to stay has not “seeped all the way through” to the 33 London boroughs.
Kevin Welstead, sector director for electric vehicles at SSE Enterprise, which installs EV charge points for cars, said more impetus was needed to encourage a quicker take up of EV charging points across London.
Welstead added that some boroughs are “more progressive on the EV agenda” than others.
So far the big six company has installed 762 charging points across the capital out of a target of 6,000 for the city-wide electric vehicle charge point network, Source London, which was launched in May 2015.
Welstead said: “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 EV agenda than others.
“The policy direction from government and the mayor of London is rightly that EVs are here to stay and we all want our city centres to be clean and free of polluting vehicles. Our experience as an infrastructure provider on the ground is that this message has not seeped all the way through.
“We are determined to help Londoners go green when it comes to EVs – hence all our charging points are powered by our ‘Green Energy’ tariff – which means the electricity comes from SSE renewable sources. That means that Londoners know that they are being fully green when they plug in their EV at one of our charge points.”
There are several potential reasons as to why SSE’s EV target is being missed.
It has been reported that by 2020 London boroughs will have had their funding cut by 63 per cent since 2010, meaning councils are under increasing pressure.
A second reason could be local opposition, with not every local community being as enthusiastic about the installation of charging points.
In response to SSE councillor Julian Bell, chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee, said: “London boroughs are committed to supporting environmentally-friendly transport and are leading the way in delivering an effective network of electric vehicle charging points across the capital. Boroughs are set to install more than 1,000 charging points across London by 2020.
“It’s crucial that boroughs continue to work closely with their local residents and ensure that the installation of charging points is done in an appropriate way. As well as targeting charging points where they are most needed, boroughs have a duty to consider the needs of pedestrians and other road users and to make sure these services are delivered to high standards.
“Supporting electric vehicle infrastructure is essential for reducing the air pollution that causes so much harm for our communities. We will continue to work with our partners in delivering a modern and environmentally sustainable capital city for the future.”
SSE is also supporting the “Power my street” engagement campaign launched by Source London.
The initiative allows London residents to nominate locations for new on-street electric vehicle charging points.
So far there have been more than 500 charge point locations nominated by London’s residents.