Electric car charging technology has moved on with many new models capable of fast charging with very respectable ranges. You can now charge an electric car up to 80% of capacity within an hour if using a rapid charge point. Fast charge points typically take around 4 hours, and standard slow charging from a typical mains supply takes around 8 hours.
Depending on the make and model of the electric car and the condition of the batteries, a typical range can be from 25 miles on earlier electric cars to 125 miles on modern vehicles. Factors such as road, weather and driving style can also influence the range but it is estimated electric cars are suitable for some 85% of all car journeys.
Electric cars can be charged from a normal home plug, but if you fit a dedicated charge point (grants available), faster, and more efficient charging is available. Electric car batteries are too big to be removed and charged in-doors. Your electric car will need to be physically plugged in to a mains plug in order to charge it, therefore if you don’t have off street parking, this may be difficult, unless there is a street charge point. An alternative option would be a Plug-in Hybrid car which allows you to switch to a small petrol or diesel engine when required to extend your range.
There are currently manufacturers testing wireless battery charging, as feature in many new mobile phones. But even when this technology is available, this will only eliminate the need to plug your car in, but not the distance between the car and the charging point.
Plug-in hybrids use a combination of batteries to store charge and a conversational petrol or diesel engine. This eliminates the risk of running out of power as when the batteries are depleted, you can switch to running on conventionally fuels.
Electric car charging infrastructure
On the 26 May 2011 the Mayor Boris Johnson, launched the Source London charge point network. www.sourcelondon.net/source-london. Source London is a more convenient and highly accessible way of charging your vehicle whilst you’re going about your business be it work or play. Any vehicle that is licensed with the DVLA as a pure electric or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle can join the scheme.
There will be a continued phased installation of 1,300 public charge points on residential streets and off-street locations, such as supermarkets, public car parks and at shopping and leisure centres in the Source London network.
That’s the vision for EV drivers. You will no longer have to use different permits across the boroughs. You’ll have one access card across the whole city.
Transport for London is working with other partners across Greater London which will have twice as many points as there are petrol stations in London. Source London is the network that will bring together London’s new and existing public charge points into one network. This will be run by Transport for London working in partnership with Siemens who are sponsoring Source London’s entire back office function, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The government is committed to expanding the electric car charging network, and new charging point are becoming a common feature in many new commercial buildings and large residential developments. You should check individual council websites for details of electric car charging availability as locations and prices are always changing. A number of private initiatives are also now available such as Pod Point.
A convenient electric car charging point map can be found here.
Details of parking for individual councils can be found below;
Electric vehicles, for charging purposes, are defined as wholly electric cars and mopeds. The discount does not apply to hybrid vehicles. The charging points are located at the entrance to the Hornton Street car park is to the rear of the Central Library. The charging points are located on level B2. Tarrifs can be found on the www.rbkc.gov.uk website.
Westminster City Council
Westminster has the largest on-street recharging service for electric vehicles in the UK. There are over 50 electric vehicle recharging bays in Westminster off-street car parks operated by NCP and Q-Park and 33 on-street recharging points. Anyone with an electric vehicle who either lives or works in Westminster can use these recharging points once they have registered. It costs £75 a year to be a member
Under the council’s emission-based permit charging, owners of electric vehicles receive free resident parking permit.
Because many Islington residents do not have access to off-street parking where they can charge an electric vehicle, we have installed some on-street electric vehicle charging points. Residents who wish to use the on-street points can purchase an electric vehicle charging point (EVCP) permit. The pilot scheme will cost electric car owners £17 annually (for administration, postage and packaging), plus a one-off refundable deposit of £50 for the use of a specially-designed yellow recharging cable.