Zest Awarded Contract by TfL to Expand EV Charging Infrastructure in London

Transport for London (TfL) has taken a significant step towards enhancing the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in the city by awarding Zest, a leading provider of EV charging solutions, a contract to roll out 39 new electric vehicle charging bays across 24 locations in south and southwest London.

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Published on
May 17, 2023

This strategic move aims to meet the rising demand for EV charging points, enabling drivers, including commercial vehicle users, to transition to zero-emission transportation more conveniently. With this initiative, TfL reaffirms its commitment to making London a frontrunner in the electric vehicle revolution.

Expanding the Charging Network:

Zest's selection as the partner for this ambitious project follows a rigorous tender process. Their task will be to provide and operate 39 rapid or ultra-rapid EV charging bays on public land, strategically placed along key routes, to facilitate essential and high-mileage road users. These charging points will not only contribute to a cleaner and greener London but also provide more accessible charging options for commercial vehicles, taxis, and freight operators.

The initial rollout is expected to be completed by autumn 2024, covering the southern parts of the capital. Subsequently, another contract will be awarded this autumn to extend the charging network to other areas of London. This expansion will bolster the existing infrastructure of close to 13,000 charging points, establishing London as the leader in EV adoption and charging infrastructure in the UK.

Unlocking Land for EV Charging:

Part of TfL's EV Infrastructure Delivery Programme, this initiative exemplifies the Mayor's dedication to leveraging public land owned by TfL and other Greater London Authority entities. By partnering with private sector providers like Zest, TfL aims to amplify the rapid charging network's density throughout the city. This innovative approach ensures that London remains at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution by attracting investment and expertise from the private market.

London's Impressive EV Adoption:

With 103,000 plug-in electric cars and vans already registered in the capital, London has emerged as the UK's leading city in terms of electric vehicle uptake. Currently, London boasts approximately 31% of the entire UK's EV charging infrastructure, outpacing all other regions. This remarkable achievement can be attributed to the steadfast commitments made by TfL and the

Mayor to drive London's electric mobility transition.

Since 2019, the Mayor's initiatives have led to a remarkable 180% growth in London's charging network. While London is on track to meet its target of 40,000-60,000 charging points by 2030, the Mayor envisions going even further by facilitating space for an additional 100 rapid charge points. As of February 2023, London boasts the highest number of public rapid charge points among all European cities, including the 26 rapid charging hubs that function as convenient "petrol stations" for electric vehicles.

Enabling a Greener Future:

David Rowe, TfL's Director of Investment Delivery Planning, emphasizes the significance of these 39 new bays in supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles. By increasing the number of rapid charging points, drivers gain confidence that they can recharge their vehicles swiftly, encouraging a wider adoption of electric vehicles. The collaboration between TfL and Zest will play a vital role in expanding London's extensive network of EV charging points, ultimately helping to combat the city's air pollution and combat climate change.Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, expresses her optimism regarding the convenience these new charging points will provide for Londoners. With quicker and more accessible charging options, residents in south and southwest London will have increased confidence to switch to greener vehicles, thereby contributing to London's ambitious net-zero targets.

Robin Heap, CEO of Zest, recognises the significance of this infrastructure project in advancing the UK's net-zero goals. Heap acknowledges that substantial infrastructure development is necessary to meet these ambitious targets, and it is forward-thinking public sector organizations like TfL that are leading the way. By strategically locating rapid and ultra-rapid charging points along high-volume arterial roads, Zest aims to make electric vehicle adoption more accessible and improve air quality for local communities.

TfL's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy:

To keep pace with the increasing demand for EV charging, TfL has formulated a comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy. Based on their modeling, TfL estimates that by 2025, London will require a minimum of 1,600 rapid charge points, and this number could rise to 3,900 by 2030. To meet these targets, TfL is actively exploring opportunities to utilize more of its land for EV charging bays. Collaboration with other members of the Greater London Authority family and borough councils is also underway to identify additional suitable sites across the city.

Meeting Demand and Funding Initiatives:

TfL is committed to rapidly expanding the number of EV charging bays across London to ensure an adequate charging infrastructure for the growing demand. In late March, the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles allocated £35.7 million in funding for Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) Capital. This funding is in addition to the £9.7 million LEVI pilot funding awarded in the previous financial year, which facilitated the introduction of 400 fast charge points in boroughs across north and west London. TfL, together with government funding and the On-street Residential Charge Point Scheme, continues to explore avenues to bring more EV charging options to Londoners.

Rapid Charging Hubs:

In its pursuit of a comprehensive charging network, TfL has established rapid charging hubs across the city. The Glass Yard charging hub in Woolwich, which opened in 2021, accommodates eight vehicles simultaneously and provides a full battery charge in approximately 30 minutes. This hub is part of TfL's strategy to have a rapid charging hub in each of London's five sub-regions, ensuring easy access for EV drivers regardless of their location. The hubs at Stratford International in east London and Baynard House in the City of London have already been completed, offering six rapid charging points in central locations. In recent months, two additional hubs have been introduced at MFG Collier Row and Heathrow North by Euro Garages, providing a total of 14 rapid charging points and expanding the charging options available to EV drivers in those areas.

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