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Electric Car Dreams Shackled By Power Problems In London

By raccars Published

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Although politicians and campaigners have been pushing to increase the number of electric vehicles in use across the capital, the Financial Times reported last week that drivers who do choose to go for this greener option, may find it difficult to keep their car charged up in London due to infrastructural inadequacies.

Although there are 300 different sites across the city at which electric vehicles can be charged, allowing a total of 1,300 vehicles to draw power simultaneously, only about 60 per cent of these points are actively available to use at the moment, according to the survey. This data can be gleaned in real time because a map of the network of charging points is operated, which paints a fairly damning picture of how things are being run.

One of the biggest problems is that although London’s electric car charging network should ideally be managed in a cohesive manner, the reality is that there are so many different councils and invested organisations involved in it at the moment, that actually getting anything done about the issues with outages is difficult.

Across the capital's 27 boroughs, there are a total of 39 different private organisations which are partnered in the charging scheme. Each needs to be placated and serviced by the authorities, while also taking some responsibility for ensuring the terminals are active and used properly.

Industry expert, Mark Walker, said that there is currently a contradiction between the intentions of various groups within the capital, to make it easier for electric vehicles to be used, and the reality of the situation which is being faced, with the network of charging points in an apparent state of disarray.

Under three per cent of all cars in the UK are currently powered by electric or hybrid engines, but this is expected to grow over the next few years. And for London, the real infrastructural issue lies not only with the availability of charging points, but their positioning, because most parking is on-street rather than in dedicated structures.

The charging infrastructure in the capital is currently controlled by an organisation called Bluepoint London and there are plans to increase the total number of charging outlets to more than 6,000 within the next three years. Whether this will be achieved is arguably less important than whether it will be possible to shore up the existing infrastructure against charging point failures.

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