London’s EV Push Backs Home Chargers

A joint initiative between Britain’s main gas supplier and Mayor of London Boris Johnson will offer grants to electric vehicle (EV) owners to set up charge points in their homes.

The grant program is part of a wider campaign to encourage EV use in London, which includes an ambitious plan to fill the U.K. capital with 1,300 public charging stations by next year—meaning every Londoner is no more than one mile from a station.


image via Source London

Car owners who sign up to the new scheme will pay just a quarter of the upfront cost for the home charge-point installation carried out by an engineer from British Gas, as well as being granted a waiver from having to the pay the Congestion Charge, the fee charged to most vehicles traveling in central London.

They will also get free access to the 300 public charge points so far put in place in the city by Source London, the nonprofit set up by the mayor’s office to oversea the initiative. Mayor Johnson has said previously that he would like to have 100,000 EVs on London’s roads but has set no timetable for the goal.

Voices in the renewable energy industry have said home charging will be vital to integrating electric vehicles into national electricity grids. However, critics of EV home charging claim it could be costly, and without a central network operator in place wholesale energy prices could rise steeply.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.

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