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Life To Get Easier For EV Owners In London

By raccars Published

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The electric car charging network in London is to be treated to a comprehensive maintenance programme, which will see 300 broken charging points repaired by the summer. The network is run by Source London, which will make an announcement on the scheme by the end of the week.

Previously owned by TfL, Source London was bought by a French firm last April, which is to assume full control shortly. A number of London boroughs have signed up for a new maintenance contract with the company, which says any chargers which can't be repaired will be replaced with new units. Source London's plan is to achieve operability of 99% for this summer.

While the company claims to have enough stock of parts and enough engineers to complete the work, the firm which supplies the charging points, Chargemaster, has exhibited some scepticism.

Source London plans to continue repair work later in the year, as more London boroughs sign up to its maintenance regime. The company plans to improve the network with the installation of features such as a control centre, offering central monitoring of the points, so that faults can be quickly and easily identified. New communications equipment will need to be installed at most of the charging posts, to enable this system.

The proliferation of broken charging points has been making life difficult for EV owners in the capital and certainly won't encourage further uptake of electric vehicles, despite the government's campaign of incentives. However, while the charging network should improve significantly as a result of the planned works, this convenience will come at a cost for EV owners, as charge point parking bays are soon to be subject to a fee.

The parking costs will run on a scale with Transport for London's wider network, using the same six zones used to calculate bus and tube fares in the capital. Source London has not yet revealed the exact tariff but expect higher charges in central London than outer areas of the city. Industry rumour has suggested it could cost as much as £5 per hour to use the Central London bays.

Problems for EV owners began when London's charging network failed to establish a citywide maintenance programme. Instead, each borough was responsible for its own charging points, with a maintenance budget of only £480 per post, per year. The result has been that out of about 1,400 charging points, about a third are out of order at any time.

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