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Electric cars: best and worst London boroughs for finding a charging point

Electric cars: best and worst London boroughs for finding a charging point
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ondon has now installed more than 10,000 public electric vehicle charging stations, but new analysis has revealed the city’s zip code lottery for infrastructure access.

The number of electric cars registered annually in the capital increased by 60 percent last year, bringing the total number of cars on the road to 86,568. City Hall has forecast that there will be 1.4 million on the roads by 2030.

The capital leads the way nationally when it comes to public charging points, accounting for a third of the UK’s 32,132 points, but this is not enough to meet Londoners’ rising demand for “plug-in” battery or hybrid cars.

New research from Savills shows that charging infrastructure is not keeping up with demand and shows that there is currently huge variation in the availability of public charging points across London.

The winners and losers of electric vehicles

It shows that despite covering larger geographic areas, the suburbs of London are particularly poorly served.

Havering, a suburb of east London, has 1,143 privately owned ultra-low-emission vehicles (ULEVs) but only 31 public chargers, meaning 45 cars jostling for each charging point.

Infrastructure is also sparse in West London’s Harrow, where there are just 50 public chargers for 1,890 private ULEVs. Meanwhile, Bromley has only 90 public charging stations for 2,551 vehicles.

In these suburban areas, many electric car owners will want to install their own private car charging station, and Savills’ data shows that a home with a driveway now adds 4.7 percent to the average property price in London’s suburbs.

In affluent areas of central London such as Westminster, the City of London, Kensington & Chelsea and Camden, electric vehicles now account for six percent of all private car registrations, more than six times the national average.

But in central London there is still a postcode lottery. Westminster has 1,147 public chargers, the highest of any local authority, for 2,852 private ULEVs, which equates to 2.5 electric cars per charging station.

In neighboring Camden, however, there are 376 public chargers for 2,391 private ULEVs, which equates to more than six vehicles per charging station. In prime London areas like these, a driveway can now boost house prices by 33 percent – even more than the value of a large yard.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “Low-emission vehicle ownership is by far the highest in London, and as a result public infrastructure is most developed here.

“But even in London there is quite a wide variation in the availability of charging points. Despite being neighboring affluent boroughs with a high percentage of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, there are 2.5 electric cars per charge point in Westminster versus 6.3 in Camden.’

What is being done to improve the situation?

Asked about its charging stations, Camden Council said it planned to install about 300 more fast charging stations over the next 12 months to meet demand.

However, Cllr Adam Harrison, the council’s chief sustainability officer, said 12 years of austerity measures by the central government “limit what we can do”. often we are without the resources to do so.”

Savills’ research also showed how electric car owners living in condominiums and terraced houses with no on-site parking were likely to have more trouble finding a place to charge their cars.

Those who lived in rental properties probably also struggled to find power anywhere.

Kat Martindale, Head of ESG Research at Savills said: “To achieve broad adoption in wider areas of society, we need a three-pronged approach, measures to reduce the initial cost of owning electric cars and home charging, a more roll-out of public charging stations and investments in the capacity of the grid to facilitate this”.

Sadiq Khan has predicted that by the end of the decade, 40,000 to 60,000 chargers, including up to 4,000 rapids, will be needed to meet rising demand.

The government has said it will invest £300m to install a target of 300,000 chargers in the UK by the end of the decade, a tenfold increase from the current 30,000 public charging stations.

New regulations came in last week requiring all new homes built in the UK to have EV charging stations, as well as new build workplaces, supermarkets and buildings undergoing major renovations.

London boroughs by number of public charging points per vehicle

district

Private ULEVs

Public charging points

ULEVs per point

Havering

1443

31

46.55

eg

1890

50

37.8

Bromley

2551

90

28.34

redbridge

2095

95

22.05

Bexley

1344

67

22.06

Haringey

1732

95

18.25

Croydon

2268

139

16.32

Barnet

4303

287

14.99

Barking and Dagenham

963

66

14.59

Enfield

1866

163

11.45

Lewisham

1405

132

10.64

Sutton

1268

128

9.91

Hillingdon

1846

201

9.18

Ealing

2475

299

8.28

Kingston

1358

178

7.63

Newham

1545

210

7.36

Richmond

2477

350

7.08

Tower Hamlets

1385

214

6.47

Camden

2391

376

6.36

Merton

1647

263

6.26

Waltham Forest

1276

211

6.05

Hackney

1139

197

5.78

Green wich

1517

265

5.72

Lambeth

1706

310

5.5

Islington

1512

309

4.89

Brent

2309

485

4.76

Wandsworth

2893

634

4.48

Hounslow

1792

419

4.28

Southwark

1757

438

4.01

Kensington and Chelsea

2428

658

3.69

Hammersmith and Fulham

1770

598

2.96

Westminster

2852

1147

2.49

City of London

87

52

1.67