Entering the debate over London’s charge for electrification

Lee Peck Media client InstaVolt is the largest owner-operator of rapid DC charging stations in the UK and here, CEO Adrian Keen reflects on the challenge London’s faces to go electric.

London is at the forefront of the UK’s zero emission revolution and has the opportunity to be a shining example of what can be achieved when the public and private sector work together. There have been a number of great initiatives to date but there is a long way to go. That said, if the positive mood I experienced at this year’s Everything EV Live is anything to go by, then I have every reason to believe that those zero emission ambitions can be delivered.

Everything EV Live is a world-leading event series and was in London this week to challenge the environmental impact of traffic in and around the capital. The event is well-timed: London’s air is so dirty that pollution is responsible for around 9,500 deaths a year, as well as many more life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

It’s easy, then, to see why there is such a big push towards alternatives to fossil fueled vehicles. Electric car sales in 2019 are growing at a fantastic rate (BEV sales are up 125% in the year to October compared to 2018), and acceptance of EV’s by the public is rising as confidence in the vehicles and the charging infrastructure begins to grow. The fact that the UK is already fully behind the drive for electrification is good news for the City of London, so the capital should be well-placed to meet some pretty ambitious clean-air targets. It’s a huge task but the mood of the attendees at Everything EV Live was one of optimism and “can-do” attitude.

There is much work to do and education is a big part of the emission free journey, and events like Everything EV Live are central to that. I was delighted to be a guest panelist at Everything EV Live alongside industry colleagues and members of the public sector. I was heartened to see first-hand how the direction of travel has shifted from “are EVs really the future?” to how quickly and effectively the infrastructure can be delivered. The debate had moved beyond having to persuade sceptics that a shift towards the electrification of transport is coming, to how we manage it now that it has begun.

Partnerships between chargepoint operators and public authorities will be essential to the successful delivery of a comprehensive EV charging network, which is essential in building the confidence of drivers considering the move to an EV. As the largest owner-operator of rapid DC charging stations in the UK, InstaVolt is perfectly placed to partner with London’s borough councils to provide rapid charging to the capitals’ taxis, delivery fleets, residents and visitors. We install chargers at no cost to the local authority, and take full responsibility for operating and maintaining them. Under this partnership the local authority is able to provide much-needed rapid charging infrastructure, delivered and managed by experts, and can direct its resources to other important projects.

I can’t wait to see London seize this opportunity and demonstrate to the world how large cities can tackle harmful emissions, powered by private-public partnerships to deliver world-class charging networks to the capital’s drivers.


Adrian Keen

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