Addison Lee is urging the Government to help speed-up the installation of the electric vehicle (EV) charging network in London if it is to successfully switch to a plug-in hybrid fleet.
The new mayor of London Sadiq Khan has committed to facilitating a step change in EV charging infrastructure, including support for residential areas and a rapid charging network with dedicated sites for taxis. The Government has committed £23 million to fund the scheme.
There are around 850 charging points across London, with plans to install a further 4,500 over the next two years.
However, Mike Galvin, head of regulatory affairs at the private hire company, told Fleet News that, even with that increased capacity, the speed of installation and number of charging points won’t be enough to support his company’s fleet of 5,000 vehicles, let alone other operators in the city.
Galvin said the Addison Lee fleet operates to a three-year cycle and the deadline for ordering the next wave of vehicles is approaching.
“The mayor needs to find money from central government to increase the amount of charging stations across the city,” he said. “We are going to have to start replacing vehicles and what we don’t want to happen is that we buy them as plug-in hybrids, but are not actually able to use the electric power because we can’t charge them.
“Instead you’re going to end up with businesses just running on petrol or diesel instead and that’s not going to help deliver these air quality targets.”