The Scoop

Boris Johnson's electric car revolution loses its spark

Adam Bienkov | Tuesday 15 February, 2011 08:38

Boris Johnson has been forced to scale back his plan to make London the “electric car capital of Europe” following government cuts and resistance from local authorities.

Plans announced last year for 7500 new electric car charging points by 2013 have been reduced to just 1300.

A spokesperson for the Mayor admitted to The Scoop that “extreme budgetary pressures” on both public and private funding had hit the scheme.

The scheme has also met strong resistance from local authorities concerned about the cost and safety of the scheme.

Previously announced plans for a new electric car hire scheme have also been put on hold with Boris saying last week that he has no current plans to develop one.

Green London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said yesterday: “this Mayoral ambition to make London the electric car capital of Europe has completely lost its spark… There appeared to be a solid commitment to some short term funding made a year ago, but most of that money has now disappeared.”

However, the Mayor’s office claim that a revision to the “London Plan” requiring charging points at all new buildings will still lead to thousands more electric charging points being provided.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said:

We are working with Government and the private sector to leverage in more money in addition to our own investment in order to deliver the Mayor’s ambitions plans, kick start the electric vehicle market and enable electric vehicle infrastructure to be put on a sustainable commercial footing, lessening the need for public funding, as soon as possible.”

Last year a £100,000 pilot project in Haringey resulted in just one person signing up to the scheme.

Filed in: