17 December 2009 | Allie Anderson
London is to lead a coalition of global cities to jointly purchase thousands of electric vehicles.
Fourteen member and affiliate cities of the C40 – a group of the world’s largest cities committed to tackling climate change – have come together to form the C40 Electric Vehicle Network (C40EVN). Bogota, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Copenhagen, Delhi, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Sydney will collaborate to plan and buy vehicles, as well as deploy infrastructure such as electric car charging points.
Representatives are this week attending the Climate Summit for Mayors, being held in Copenhagen alongside the UN Climate Change Conference, where the announcement was made.
Four vehicle manufacturers - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Nissan, Renault and Chinese firm BYD - have agreed to work with the C40EVN to supply the electric cars. Details of the joint procurement scheme are to be released next year.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “London has set the standard for the shift to mainstream urban electric vehicle use across the world. City leaders have raised the bar in responding to the challenge of climate change.
“By committing to adopt electric technology, we are using the collective clout of our procurement power and populations to mobilise global markets. The move to electric vehicles, which emit zero pollution on to our city streets, will have a massive impact on cutting carbon emissions while improving air quality and noise levels for our citizens.”
Addressing city leaders at the summit, Johnson demonstrated London’s commitment to leading the “electric revolution” by announcing plans to deliver a network of electric car charging points across the city and confirming that the Greater London Authority (GLA) group will purchase 1,000 electric cars for its fleet
Transport for London (TfL) has already started installing charge points in the city and it is estimated that by 2015, there will be 25,000 on streets, at workplaces and in public car parks.
The estimated cost of the 25,000 charging points, conversion of the GLA’s fleet and other initiatives to encourage take up of electric vehicles is £60 million, of which the Mayor has pledged to fund one third. TfL is currently working with a number of private and public sector organisations to apply for government infrastructure funding to meet the remainder of the cost.