An agreement between Source London and Source East is promising to put an electric charge point within 25 miles of every business and resident in the East of England over the next year or so.
The venture already brings together 940 charge points throughout London and the East of England for use by the two organisations' members free of charge.
Source London, a consortium of 50 public and private partners has 810 charge points throughout the capital with plans to increase that to 1300 in 2013. Source East covers the East of England region and includes the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex together with Peterborough, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, Thurrock and Southend.
Currently with 132 charge points, Source East aspires to have 800 publicly accessible charge points - one within 25 miles of all businesses and residents in the Eastern counties. It believes this will help to overcome one of the key obstacles to the take-up of electric veicles: range fear.
Nick Fairholme, TfL director for Source London said: “London is leading the way in providing charge points for owners of electric vehicles. The growth in the electric vehicle market is very encouraging and by building the infrastructure to support these vehicles, we expect them to become even more accessible.
"London’s charge point network guarantees our members are never far away from a point. This arrangement between Source London and Source East means they can now comfortably travel outside London also safe in the knowledge that they are never too far from a charge point.”
Keith Bevis, managing director for EValu8, the company that manages the Source East programme, added: “Working to make electric car charging points more accessible to all our members is something that we are very passionate about, especially with the heritage the East of England has for developing green transport solutions. The roaming scheme means we will be able to continue to support and help motorists travel in a sustainable way.”
London’s electric vehicle charge point network is already the UK’s largest, and by 2013 will be one of the world’s largest urban charging networks. London also has the highest proportion of electric vehicles in the UK – almost 16% - and confidence is high that this will remain the case as the market develops.
The East of England, in contrast, is a relatively rural region, but with high levels of car ownership and usage. Source East is confident the collaboration with Source London will strengthen and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the region.
Nick Webb, chief executive of The Marston Vale Trust, a regeneration project in the East of England, supports the new agreement.
“The development of roaming between the eastern region and London’s network of electric vehicle charging points is a fantastic development," he said.
"Hopefully, it will encourage electric cars to become a far more common site on our roads and we hope charging posts at sites such as ours here at the Forest of Marston Vale’s Forest Centre will become a familiar sight.”
In less than 18 months, the Source London consortium has grown from 21 public and private partners to 50, with 810 charge points located across 200 sites throughout the capital at supermarkets, shopping centres, council and private car parks, the Olympic Park, hospitals and on the street.
Encouraging more electric vehicles is part of the Mayor’s commitment to making London the electric vehicle capital of Europe, delivering cleaner air and reducing CO2 emissions for all Londoners.