Electric Vehicles

What is an EV?

If you currently drive a petrol or diesel vehicle, you could save money and cut pollutants by switching to electric.

In London around 90% of all car trips are less than 10km, meaning that almost all average day-to-day travelling can be easily accomplished with an EV.

Electric Vehicles have no tailpipe emissions of CO2 or the air pollutants which have a detrimental effect on human health (particulate matter and NOx).

About EVs

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have a lithium-ion battery. The battery can be charged at home or at a public or workplace charge point.

Cars, vans and motorbikes are available. There are three types of EV:

  • A 'pure EV' (also known as a Battery EV or BEV) runs solely on the battery. Typically, this type of EV has a range of 80-100km on a full battery, and recent models have up to 160km.
  • Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs) and Range-Extended EVs (RE-EVs) also have a conventional diesel or petrol engine, meaning they have a longer range than with a battery alone.

Benefits of owning an EV

Owners of electric vehicles benefit from much lower fuel costs compared to conventional vehicles.

The UK Government offers a Plug-in Car Grant of 25% off the cost of a car (up to £5,000) and a Plug-in Van Grant of up to 20% off the cost of a van (up to £8,000).

Currently there is no VED (vehicle tax) to pay on EVs. There is a range of tax incentives for business users.

Electric vehicles and PHEVs which meet the criteria are eligible for a 100% discount on the Congestion Charge. Some London boroughs offer free or reduced-charge parking for EVs.

Charging your vehicle

Most people charge at home overnight, and there are private charge points in work places across the capital.

The Government offers grants of up to 75% towards the cost of purchase and installation of a domestic charge point.

Source London is a city-wide electric vehicle charging network providing over 1,400 charging points across London. Owners of electric vehicles can register for the scheme and find their nearest charging point by visiting www.sourcelondon.net.

From summer 2014, Source London will be run by IER, who have been selected to take over the scheme following a competitive process to transfer the service to a private sector provider. IER has plans to expand to 6,000 charge points by 2018.

What vehicles are available?

Electric cars and vans available in the UK and eligible for the plug-in car and van grants are listed on the OLEV website.

Why electric vehicles?

Go Ultra Low logo

The Mayor's Air Quality Strategy (MAQS) focuses specifically on improving air quality in London in order to meet the targets set by the EU. MAQS commits the Mayor to working with partners to put 100,000 electric vehicles on London's streets by 2020.

The former Mayor launched his Electric Vehicle Delivery Plan in May 2009.  It set out his aim for London to have a network of publicly accessible charge points, with a target of 1,300 charge points by April 2013 - this target has been exceeded.

The UK Government and the motor industry support the uptake of electric and other ultra low emission vehicles. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) helps to support the early market for ultra low emission vehicles. The Go Ultra Low campaign is an initiative jointly run by OLEV and the motor industry.


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