London’s first rapid EV charging hub has been opened at Stratford International Station car park by Transport for London (TfL) and electric vehicle (EV) charging network Engenie.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “London’s air quality is a serious public health crisis and we face a climate emergency which threatens our future. We need to help people move away from petrol and diesel cars, so we can clean up our air and tackle climate change. The overwhelming success of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone shows both Londoners and businesses alike are ready to play their part.

“I want to help people switch to public transport, walking and cycling and want all new cars and vans in London to be zero emission by 2030, not 2040 as the Government is proposing. Today’s announcement will help us to continue to work together with London boroughs and the private sector to deliver a major expansion in charging infrastructure and an electric vehicle revolution in the capital.”

This charging hub is part of the Mayor of London’s EV infrastructure delivery plan, in which he pledged to open at least five rapid charging hubs over the coming years and install 300 rapid chargers by the end of 2020.

The hub will host six 50kW rapid chargers with connectors compatible with every EV on the market. The charge points are fully open access to all EV drivers, allowing them to pay for charging with a contactless card or smart phone, with no registration or membership required. TfL has contributed funding towards the project, which is hosted by landlord HS1 and delivered and operated by Engenie. Engenie will be subsidising the site, to ensure that there will be no parking fees for those using the chargers, for the foreseeable future.

“London is trailblazing the EV revolution and actively working to deliver cleaner air for its nine million residents,” said Ian Johnston, CEO of Engenie. “This rapid charging hub is a significant step change in the crucial infrastructure needed to serve the accelerating number of electric vehicles across the city.”

Christina Calderato, TfL’s head of transport strategy and planning, said: “We know that a comprehensive network of charging points is essential if we are to persuade drivers to ditch polluting diesel vehicles and swap them for electric alternatives. Installing 1,000 more residential charging points across the capital means more Londoners can plug their vehicle in while at home, even if they don’t have a driveway. For those that need to charge up in 20-30 minutes, London is one of the leading world cities for rapid charge points. The addition of the east hub in Stratford is the first super charging facility, allowing drivers easy access and convenient methods of payment.”

Almost 3,000 London taxis have switched to electric since the start of the year all newly licensed private hire vehicles that are less than 18 months old will need to be plug-in hybrid, electric or hydrogen vehicles.

Andrew Wescott, Head of Regulatory & External Affairs at Addison Lee Group said “Decarbonising the transport network and improving air quality is a priority for us. Our shift to a zero emissions fleet will be enabled by an expansive EV infrastructure charging network. We support this initiative by the Mayor to build and expand this network.

“Independent research and our own EV trials show that drivers will need access to a mix of home chargers and an ‘on-the-go’ rapid network. Over the next two years we need a significant increase in this network so that we can keep London’s economy moving while improving air quality for its citizens.”

TfL rolled out 225 rapid charging points in 2019, and London’s rapid charging network now totals over 300 points.