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Electric car charger points lag behind number of eco-vehicles in Redbridge, figures show

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 April 2019

Electric cars are becoming more popular. Picture: David Parry/PA

Electric cars are becoming more popular. Picture: David Parry/PA

PA/Press Association Images

Electric car usage in Redbridge is outpacing the borough's battery charging infrastructure, eco-minded motorists may be shocked to know.

Figures analysed by the BBC Shared Data Unit show that the local authority has a lower than average ratio of charger ports to licensed electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles when compared to the rest of UK.

The borough has 426 licensed electric cars – higher than its the neighbouring boroughs of Havering (370), Tower Hamlets (326), Newham (204) and Barking and Dagenham (159).

However, Redbridge has only 21 charging locations – giving it a rate 49.3 charging docks per 1,000 electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles licensed.

This is the second lowest out of five east London boroughs and lower than average rate in England.

Bridget Fox, sustainable transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Sadly this is not a surprise.

“Moving to electric vehicles, as well as reducing overall traffic levels, is vital to tackling air pollution and reducing transport’s CO2 emissions, but for many drivers the lack of easy access to charging is a major barrier to making the switch.”

She added: “Councils can help by requiring off-street charging points as part of planning applications and by prioritising electric vehicles in car parks.

“We’d like to see more charging points reserved or prioritised for car clubs, which help people go electric in an affordable way.”

The BBC sourced the data for this study from the Open Charge Map and compared it with Deparment for Transport (DfT) and DVLA records.

At the national level, the local authority with the worst rate of charging locations is Caerphilly at 9.6 while the best is Na h-Eileanan Siar, in the Outer Hebrides, at 958.3.

Only 28 councils have so far taken advantage of the government’s £2.5m funding pot for the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which aims to help drivers to charge their vehicle – of which Redbridge is not one.

A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: “Improving air quality in Redbridge is vitally important to us and making it easier for drivers to swap diesel and petrol cars for more eco-friendly versions is one step in achieving this.

“Redbridge successfully secured funding from London’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS) for the installation of on-street lamp-column electric vehicle charge points in 2018/2019.

“Redbridge hopes to be able to bid for further GULCS funding which will enable more charge points to be installed in the borough this financial year.

“We were one of the first London boroughs to install a public rapid charge point and in anticipation of the ULEZ expanding to Redbridge in October 2021, we are looking to expand the initiative across the borough, as well as charge points for commercial vehicles.”

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