ore people than ever are making the switch to electric vehicles. Almost 90,000 EVs are on London’s roads now, with a 60 per cent increase in electric car registrations last year.
Professional drivers, like those earning on platforms like Uber, are even further ahead in the transition to electric. These drivers travel eight times further per year than privately-owned vehicles and are the early mass adopters of EVs.
Given the significantly lower running costs of electric cars, it makes sense that those driving the most miles are the most likely to make the switch. Right now, 90 per cent of all new cars joining the Uber platform are electric, compared to 14 per cent in the mass market.
London now has over 10,000 chargers
TfL projects the capital will need 40,000-60,000 public charge points by 2030
This progress is very promising, but it will only continue if there are enough charging points for everyone. It was great to see London pass the 10,000 charger mark this year – but we must keep going if the number of chargers is to keep pace with demand. Transport for London (TfL) projects that the capital will need between 40,000 to 60,000 public charge points by 2030.
If you talk to Uber drivers who have already switched to electric, the problem of finding reliable charging points close to where they live comes up consistently. Volume is just one part of the picture: chargers must be distributed fairly too.
The truth is that the area that you live has a significant impact on your chances of finding a charger. Currently, the boroughs with the highest number of on-street chargers are those in Central and West London – boroughs such as Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham.
TfL’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy has identified several boroughs where there is a pressing need to build more charging points so that all drivers can make the switch to electric.
Ensuring that chargers are installed on-street is crucial. Many people living in London do not have a driveway. This means that they simply don’t have the option to charge their vehicle at home. For those driving professionally – who likely need their vehicles overnight – this can be a barrier to switching to electric and maximising their earnings.
Uber’s £5 million investment
Installing chargers where high mileage drivers live can help EV adoption
In response, earlier this year Uber announced a £5 million investment to install over 700 chargers across three boroughs that have significant need for better access to charging: Brent, Newham, and Redbridge. Overall, this initiative will boost London’s charging network by more than 7 per cent. By installing chargers close to where many Uber drivers live, we can encourage more and more drivers to switch to an EV.
Most importantly, this is not just something that will benefit Uber drivers. Installing chargers near to where high mileage drivers live is the best way to accelerate EV adoption across society because it encourages others in the community to make the switch too, helping improve air quality for all those that share our streets and paths.
This investment shows how private companies can work with local government to drive EV adoption, and help solve the increasingly urgent climate challenges. Most would agree that the scale and urgency of these challenges is only growing. But if we can work together to improve access to EV charging for all, London’s electric future is in sight.