London charges ahead with wireless electric vehicle technology

10 November 2011

  • Transport for London to take part in the biggest trial in UK testing wireless electric vehicle charging
  • Source London installs Capital’s first ‘fast charge’ points cutting charge time by up to 50 per cent
  • Source London annual membership now only £10

The Mayor’s drive to deliver cleaner air for London has had a boost with the announcement that Transport for London (TfL) will be part of a pioneering trial of wireless charge points for electric vehicles (EVs). The innovative technology enables motorists to charge batteries by driving over an electric charge pad, instead of plugging in their vehicle. Four of TfL’s vehicles will be fitted out so they can use the charging pads.

The Capital's electric charge point network – Source London – is also leading the way in making electric vehicles more accessible, with the announcement that 13 ‘fast charge’ points have been installed in strategic locations in the network, which will make it even easier for the  drivers to charge their electric cars. These are in addition to the 200 plus electric vehicle charge points that Source London has already installed across the city, which will increase to 1,300 points by 2013.

It can take up to eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle with a ‘standard’ EV charge point, but the ‘fast charge’ points can reduce this to just four hours. The new ‘fast charge’ EV points have been installed by Source London partners, four by NCP and Scottish and Southern Energy,  two points by Southwark Council and seven by Hillingdon Council.  While the network is managed by TfL, Source London’s broad range of public and private partners are key in the delivery of charge points. The Mayor and TfL are keen for other organisations to also join the electric revolution by partnering with Source London. Support, including matched funding, is available for the installation of publicly accessible charge points which add to the Source London network.

The first widespread trial of wireless charging in the UK is being led by technology pioneers Qualcomm, who have announced today that they will use up to 50 vehicles to determine how the system could be rolled out in the future.  Based partially in the Shoreditch area of Tech City, the innovative trial will include partners such as Addison Lee and Chargemaster. TfL will also be part of the panel reviewing the technology during the trial and four electric vehicles in the TfL Surface fleet will be fitted out so they can use inductive charging points.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am determined to make London the electric car capital of Europe, helping to deliver cleaner air for the Capital, cutting emissions and improving the quality of life for people in the Capital. Source London has already opened electric driving up to more motorists and using this fantastic new technology is essential if we are to go further and reach my vision of helping the Capital become a zero-emission city. Faster charging will help ensure we can create world-class support for electric motoring and be at the forefront of innovation. If you need to drive a car, you can drive a cleaner, greener EV machine.”

Hundreds have already signed up to become members of the Source London network and are enjoying the benefits of free charging while out and about. To boost this even further, TfL has announced that it will permanently reduce the cost of annual membership to £10 from £100.

Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport at TfL, said: “The momentum of Source London and the electric car revolution in the Capital continues to build pace. These new ‘fast charge’ points should provide more assurance that TfL and our partners are doing all we can to make the switch to electric vehicles more simple. Signing up to Source London couldn’t be easier, members just need to go register and at just £10, annual membership is very affordable for everyone choosing to go electric.”