Brighter Borough tops UK’s league table for public EV charging points

Published: Friday, December 11, 2020

Newly published Government figures from the Department for Transport show that Wandsworth has the highest number of electric vehicle charging points than any other single local authority in the whole UK.

Share this

The data compiled by the DfT shows that Wandsworth currently has 591 publicly available charging points. Not only is it the highest number in London it also tops the numbers of any other local authority area in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Wandsworth’s tally of 591 compares favourably with some of the UK’s largest regional government areas. This includes 544 for the whole of the West Midlands, 412 for Greater Manchester, 200 for the Merseyside Metropolitan Area, and 238 for South Yorkshire.

Across the south east county councils, Wandsworth’s number easily exceeds Hampshire’s 380, Surrey’s 274, Kent’s 306 and the 270 combined across both East and West Sussex.

Wandsworth also outscores some of the UK’s biggest cities. Liverpool has only 133, Leeds 189, Glasgow 189, Nottingham 130, Edinburgh 117, Birmingham 107 and Bristol 110 whilst the Welsh capital Cardiff has just 52 charging points.

The borough’s south west London neighbours also lag behind with Lambeth boasting 250, Richmond 273, Merton 157, Croydon 94, Sutton 49 and Kingston bringing up the rear with just 31. The two London boroughs of Harrow (15) and Havering (14) are rooted to the bottom of the capital’s league table.

The DfT figures, which cover up to the end of October, also show that Wandsworth has one of the best tallies of anywhere in the UK when it comes to the ratio of charging points compared to population. Its score of more than 179 per 100,000 residents is the fourth best in the country.

Wandsworth has embraced electric vehicle technology as one strand of its efforts to tackle climate change and improve local air quality. It is fully committed to playing a leading role in efforts to persuade residents and businesses to make the switch from diesel and petrol-powered vehicles to cleaner and greener electric versions.

Most of the borough’s charging sockets have been fitted to lamposts to reduce pavement clutter and keep footpaths free for pedestrians. The power supply for these chargers, which have been installed in partnership with ubitricity, plus those installed by Source London, comes only from renewable sources of energy.

By early next year another 200 lampost sockets are set to come on stream with further installations planned later in 2021. This will help the council meet its current target of delivering nearly 900 on-street charging points.

Another reason why EV charging points are being fast tracked is to support residents ahead of next year’s proposed expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which will include all parts of the capital within the north and south circular roads.

If the ULEZ is extended as currently proposed, vehicles and motorcycles which enter the zone but don’t comply with its emission restrictions will have to pay £12.50 a day – but electric vehicles will be exempt. People can check if their car or motorbike is exempt from the charge by visiting the TfL website.

Wandsworth residents are already streets ahead when it comes to embracing electric vehicle technology. The annual number of plug-in vehicles registered in the borough has grown from 252 in 2012 to more than 5,000 today – with numbers rising by more than ten per cent every three months.

This route towards emissions free motoring is also being embraced by the council, whose own fleet of cars, vans and lorries is gradually being replaced by electric versions. All will eventually go electric as suitable vehicles become available.

There are also EV choices available for those who don’t need to own a vehicle but want to enjoy occasional eco-friendly motoring.

The Zipcar Flex car club includes a proportion of EVs, offering a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to car ownership, providing electric vehicles to hire by the hour, day or longer periods. Wandsworth has the highest take-up rate of car club membership in the country with more than 31,000 registered members.

Transport spokesman John Locker said: “By investing so much in promoting and supporting this eco-friendly and emission free form of motoring we are laying the foundations to help persuade people who need a car to ditch the diesel and petrol and go electric instead.

“The rapid growth in the number of charging points we have supported in Wandsworth means that running an electric vehicle is now a realistic choice for local people.

“This is just one of the ways the council is taking action to reduce pollution and improve local air quality.”

To view a map of the borough’s charging points visit zap-map.com. For more information about owning an electric vehicle in the borough visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/driveelectric.

To find out more about how the council is working to improve local air quality visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/airquality

Last year the council declared a climate emergency and unveiled ambitious plans to tackle climate change. The aim is to make Wandsworth inner London’s greenest borough by becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050. For more information visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/climatechange.