Zipcar calls for London to speed up rapid charger rollout

Vehicle rental firm Zipcar has urged London to accelerate the expansion of the city’s rapid electric vehicle charging points.

The company says the acceleration is needed to is essential to meet the Mayor’s 2019 Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Delivery Plan which estimates that London will require 4,000 rapid chargers by 2025. With just over four years to go there are currently only 500 rapid (43kw – 100+kw) charging stations around the capital, according to Zipcar.

The call for more rapid charging points was made in Zipcar UK’s 2021 Sustainability Report, which details the company’s progress towards its vision for a fully electric fleet by 2025 including the expansion of its EV fleet to over 400 cars. Zipcar is committed to growing its EV fleet, but says it can only do so if there is a significant expansion of the rapid charging infrastructure in London.

In addition to calling for more rapid charging points, Zipcar’s Sustainability Report emphasises the important role car clubs can play in delivering zero-emission driving in city centres. The report calls on the Mayor of London to include car clubs alongside other forms of transport in his communications to Londoners to help them comply with the ULEZ. It adds that government intervention could lead to long-term systemic change by breaking the dependence on private car ownership and encouraging car owners to switch to car sharing.

On average, 23.5 private cars are replaced by car clubs, meaning car club carbon savings are equivalent to the lifetime CO2 absorption of around 3,800 trees. CoMoUK research also shows that car clubs reduce the number of privately owned vehicles on city streets – providing less congestion and significantly improved air quality.

Zipcar is also calling for further substantive policy changes including for discounts to be applied to car clubs such as the congestion charge, and for parking permit incentives for EV car clubs. The company believes government intervention could lead to long-term systemic change by breaking the dependence on private car ownership and encouraging car owners to switch to car sharing.

This push by Zipcar comes on the heels of the UK government’s plan to accelerate a greener transport future through a two-step phase-out of petrol and diesel cars, ensuring all new cars and vans are zero-emissions capable from 2030.

James Taylor, general manager at Zipcar UK, said: “Much has changed since Zipcar set out its fully electric vision: the climate emergency and its impact have become ever more pressing. In response, the UK Government has set clear targets for stopping the sales of fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2030, with a focus on switching to electric vehicles.

“But there is more that can and needs to be done. We are at a pivotal moment to make urban mobility more responsible, equitable and sustainable.

“We have made fantastic progress in electrifying our London fleet, adding 90 more vehicles this year, bringing our total to over 400. In just three years nearly 80,000 members have driven an electric vehicle. Our ambition is even greater, but we can’t do this alone. Whilst charging infrastructure has improved in the past three years and it is encouraging to see the Government set out a commitment to support car clubs to go fully electric, significant further investment is needed in the infrastructure if we are to achieve our vision.”

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