London powers up electric car charging scheme
Friday 27 May 2011
London's Mayor Boris Johnson has launched a new scheme to allow electric vehicle owners to charge their cars in the city.
The Source London charging scheme is a city-wide charge point network of 150 outlets, available to anybody who has paid the annual membership fee of £100 (€115).
Users can simply park in designated bays on streets and in car parks and swipe their membership card to activate the power, leaving their vehicles to charge at the branded points which are spread across the city.
London currently has over 2,000 electric vehicles on the roads, according to the mayor's office, and a further 1,150 charge points are slated to be rolled out under the Source scheme by 2013, giving the British capital more EV charging points than petrol stations.
Nissan and Mitsubishi, which manufacture the first mainstream electric vehicles available in the UK, both welcomed the scheme.
Buyers of the Leaf, Nissan's all-electric hatchback, are to receive free membership to the Source scheme for 12 months if they purchase their vehicle by the end of this year, Nissan announced.
Electric vehicles in the UK already receive exemption from the central London Congestion Charge and pay no road tax, along with being eligible for generous subsidies as part of a government-led effort to boost public interest in green motoring.
The strategy was given a boost recently by a new survey from global consulting firm Accenture, which found that the relatively high cost of plug-in electric vehicles was by no means the only key factor in adoption.
The availability of charging points was cited by 63 percent of respondents as the most important factor when it came to purchasing an electric vehicle, more than the 51 percent who said that total running cost would motivate them.
When asked what would encourage them to switch to electric vehicles, 65 percent of respondents cited free parking, 44 percent point to toll discounts and 43 percent to the availability of priority lanes.
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