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Westminster Council Launches UK’s Largest On Street Electric Car Charging Service

 Westminster City Council on-street car recharging

Electric car drivers will be able to use any of the 12 on-street Juice Points.

This is for a small annual fee to recharge their electric motors, on top of getting discounts to use an additional 48 charging points in the council’s car parks.

The new posts have been installed outside homes, offices and prime locations across Westminster following a successful pilot scheme in Covent Garden.

Users pay an annual £75 fee to cover administration costs to register and use the on-street recharging posts. They will then receive a recharging cable and personalised key to enable charging.

Today’s launch event included the opportunity to try out a number of electric cars and learn more about minimising drivers’ impact on the environment. The posts, which cost £3,300 each, have been funded by Westminster City Council, Transport for London, the Energy Saving Trust and EDF Energy.

Following the success of Westminster Council’s electric car charging points, the London boroughs of Camden and Islington have installed posts of their own, and Wandsworth is planning to do so.The total number of 60 juice points includes 12 on street recharging points and 48 points in 13 of Westminster Council’s car parks.The scheme is part of Westminster Council’s strategy to improve its air quality and is part of its Go Green programme, which sets out the ways in which the City Council intends to lead in creating a more sustainable city. Precise details of new locations for recharging points were finalised based on findings from a survey of all 250 members of the EcoMark electric car club in Westminster.

There are currently 48 juice points based in 13 car parks in Westminster where registered users pay an annual fee of £250 to park and recharge their car whenever they like. The points are partly funded by TfL, EDF Energy and the Energy Saving Trust. The points are available for all registered members of Westminster’s Electric Eco-Mark. To become a member you must either work or live in Westminster. Westminster City Council was one of the first councils in the UK to introduce a range of financial incentives for electric vehicle owners, including free parking at meters and free resident parking.

Westminster introduced its first recharging point at Harley Street Car Park, in the West End, in 1999. The car park now boasts 12 charging points. Westminster City Council introduced Britain’s first free on-street recharging posts last December when two were installed in Covent Garden in Wellington Street and Southampton Street.  Westminster has the highest levels of air pollution in the United Kingdom, due to the volume and type of road traffic travelling into and through the City on a daily basis.

Councillor Alan Bradley, Cabinet Member for Street Environment at Westminster City Council, said: “We hope, by taking the lead and offering more recharging points than any other area of the UK, that we can get more people to switch to electric-powered cars, saving both money and the environment.”

Benefits of Electric Vechicles in London

Electric vehicles , which have seen a recent boom in demand, are ideal for city driving as although they have a lower top speed than their equivalent petrol or diesel counterparts, they have comparable acceleration and produce zero tailpipe emissions. Also, on the whole electric vehicles need less servicing and maintenance. Electric cars are exempt from road tax and the Congestion Charge.

Exemption from the London Congestion Charge (go in and out of the congestion zone as often as you like without having to pay) is worth over £2,000 p.a. Electric vehicles qualify for Group 1 insurance (fully comprehensive in London just £300 p.a. average) and benefit from 100% Year 1 tax write down for business. They also have the lowest rate of company car tax at just 9%.

Development and Funding

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies. EDF Group has been involved in the development of electric vehicles for many years and is now working closely with major car manufacturers to produce the future generation of plug-in hybrids. EDF Energy and its partner Elektromotive Limited are committed to providing 250 electric vehicle recharging systems to encourage the development of a UK wide recharging infrastructure: for more information visit www.edfenergy.co.uk/elektromotive

In 2007/08 TfL provided £185,000 in funding for 29 charging points in London. In 2008/09 TfL will fund £220,000 worth of charging points to six boroughs and two partnerships – Greenwich, Islington, Hounslow, Haringey, Camden, Lambeth, Westminster, Clear Zones (Association of Westminster, Camden and City of London) and SWELTRAC (South West London Transport Conference).

“This scheme represents an important step in the development of environmentally friendly travel and an improvement to London’s transport system, and we hope other councils will follow our lead, not just in London but across the country, so we can have a truly comprehensive system of recharging points across the UK”.

Robert McKinnon, Head of Business Marketing at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “With over 20% of the UK’s total carbon emissions produced by road transport every year, these advances in technology are vital. Driving electrical cars is just one of the ways of cutting down harmful emissions in the city. We’re proud to have been involved in supporting this innovative development and hopefully Westminster, as well as the environment, will see the benefits.”

Peter Thorn, EDF Energy Head of Business Development Strategy, said: “EDF Energy and Elektromotive are firmly committed to encouraging the development of a UK wide recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles.”

“We firmly believe that by making recharging posts readily available, there will be greater interest in electrical transport, which in turn will help people reduce the impact their driving has on the environment. That is why we are delighted to be supporting Westminster City Council in the official launch of the additional charging posts and the ongoing development of electric transportation.”

Alex Williams, Director of Borough Partnerships at TfL said: “We are delighted with the launch of the new electric car recharging points in Westminster. TfL provides funding for the capital costs of electric charging points and to date there are around 40 charging points installed across London, in the boroughs of Islington, Camden, Greenwich, Sutton, Kingston, Kensington and Chelsea, Tower Hamlets, Westminster, Ealing, Southwark and the City.”

Juice Points Locations

Following the installation of the 10 juice points, Westminster City Council now has a total of 12 on street juice points at the following locations:
– 2 posts at Berkeley Square
– 2 posts at Wilton Street
– 2 posts at Sutherland Avenue
– 2 posts at Manchester Square
– 2 posts at Spencer Street (Behind City Hall)
– 1 post at Wellington Street
– 1 post at Southampton Street
For additional information visit www.westminster.gov.uk/ecomark

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