London has announced plans for a network of 1,300 charging points as it prepares for the first mass-market electric vehicles to hit the road.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, confirmed November 6 that the city will install the network of public stations under the "Source London" brand by 2013.

The first will go live in the spring of next year, with customers able to sign up at to use the service for an annual subscription fee of £100 (€116).

Currently, the city's residents must register with each separate borough that they wish to use charge points in.

London authorities estimate that a quarter of the UK's electric vehicles are currently in London, some 17,000 EVs and hybrids - although the number of plug in vehicles is much lower at 2,100.

With 90 percent of car journeys in the British capital less than 10 miles (16 km), London believes it can become a global leader in electric vehicles, although it has considerable competition.

In July, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled his city's first public ChargePoint EV charging station, the first of over 100 stations planned for the five boroughs in the near future.

France is already some way ahead of the competition, having installed hundreds of charge points nationwide during a scheme (which proved somewhat ahead of its time) in the 1990s.

Paris plans to begin a city-wide electric car sharing scheme, modelled on the hugely successful Velib bikeshare, next year.

In 2008, Berlin announced plans to install 500 charging points in a joint scheme with Daimler and RWE energy, while TEPCO operates around 153 chargers in Tokyo.

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