London: Electric Vehicle Capital of Europe by 2015?

Transport for London commits over $150m to UK’s largest green transport initiative.

The transport authority for London has issued two tenders aimed at making the capital of Britain the electric vehicle capital of Europe by 2015.

The first, worth over $100m, is for electric, hybrid and low carbon vehicles. The majority of the funding is ringfenced for electric and hybrid passenger vehicles of up to eight seats. Other funding will go towards electric scooters and hybrid minibuses and trucks.

Declared bidders all have UK manufacturing pants and include the largest electric commercial vehicle manufacturer, Smith Electric Vehicles, and leading electric motor manufacturer Nissan. In all over 1,000 vehicles will be added to the transport fleet of the Greater London Authority by 2015.

The second tender, worth over $45m,  is to establish the supporting network of charging points. The vast majority of this is expected to go towards chargepoints of less than 50kW. 1,600 chargepoints are to be installed by mid-2011 with a target of 25,000 set for 2015.

The two tenders taken together create the UK’s largest procurement framework for electric vehicles and set London well on its way to achieving its ambition of becoming the electric vehicle capital of Europe. The city is well placed to take advantage of electric cars with 90% of journeys travelling less than 10 miles.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said, “These procurement frameworks will allow us to drive down costs and achieve better value for money as we progress with our plans to expand vehicle usage.” They will also help the city to meet its target of slashing carbon emissions by 60% by 2025.

Picture Credit: London Night Traffic by gaspa from flickr under Creative Commons Attribution License.


Chris Milton

is a seasoned sustainability journalist focusing on business, finance and clean technology. His writing's been carried by a number of highly respected publishers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post and Scientific American. You can follow him on twitter as @britesprite, where he's one of Mashable's top green tweeters and Fast Company's CSR thought leaders. Alternatively you can follow him to the shops... but that would be boring.