Can London's Mayor Make It The Electric-Car Capital of Europe?

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Aston Martin designed London Routemaster bus

Aston Martin designed London Routemaster bus

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Like most capital cities, London is choked with traffic, fumes and noise.

But London's charismatic if disheveled mayor Boris Johnson hopes to change this, with grand plans to encourage to make it easier to run electric vehicles in the city.

The key to Johnson's plan is the £17 million ($27.5 milion) he has secured from central government and private enterprise to roll out public charging points in such a way that no electric-car driver will ever be more than a mile away from one.

The charging points are to be located on streets,  in public car parks, Tube (subway) stations, supermarket car parks, and even the parking bays of car clubs.

On the whole, this is great news. Unfortunately, almost all of them will just be relatively slow, supplying just 2.7 kilowatts, meaning that unless you have a few hours to wait, they will only be good for a top-up rather than a full charge for a battery electric vehicle like the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

London traffic

London traffic

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That said, anything that raise the profile of electric vehicles is more than welcome, and we hope that the chargers will be installed so they can be upgraded later on to provide more power.

Further ideas in Johnson's plan include gathering information and publishing case studies of electric commercial vehicles used in the city, with the aim of increasing their numbers.

We wish good luck to Mayor Johnson in his plans and look forward to seeing the charge points role out.

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