SSE has long been one of the UK’s largest providers of renewable energy, and is an ongoing advocate of sustainability. Now SSE Enterprise’s contribution to a greener future has been recognised following a recent request to join the Mayor of London’s new Electric Vehicle (EV) taskforce. The taskforce is dedicated to boosting the availability of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to encourage take-up across the capital, thereby supporting the Mayor’s ambition of making London a zero-emission city.
Pollution from vehicles harms our environment, impacts on everyone’s health, and damages our economy. Action must be taken to improve air quality, and electric vehicles can provide a clean solution – especially with those cars being charged by our Green Tariff which means they are effectively powered by renewable energy.
London requires a major expansion in charging infrastructure to help businesses, taxi drivers and Londoners switch to electric, and rightly the Mayor believes this must be delivered in partnership with the private sector. I’m proud of the role SSE Enterprise is already playing in this with Bluepoint London, having helped install 670 electric car charging points across London with a further 100 planned in the near future. SSE Enterprise also had a pivotal role in the deployment of London’s first large scale, zero-emission, single deck bus fleet by providing 43 electric charging points at Waterloo Bus Depot.
The taskforce has its work cut out to help bring the different London boroughs together. There are many challenges for this taskforce. To achieve the Mayor’s aims the active participation of boroughs, who manage 95 per cent of London’s roads, is vital. Coordination of activities within different boroughs and gaining appropriate approvals can be time consuming. Improving this process could accelerate the rate of infrastructure deployment.
Siting of infrastructure can also be a challenge, with electrical networks already at capacity in many locations. Working with the network operators will be critical to smooth infrastructure delivery. SSE Enterprise is already innovating in this area, creating bespoke charging solutions for clients wishing to install infrastructure in constrained areas. Deployment issues are not constrained to private vehicles. To be a zero emissions city London faces the mammoth challenge of transitioning its bus fleet to zero-emissions, as well as taxis, light vans and commercial fleets. To deliver the Mayor’s zero emission ambition will require imagination and a step change in how quickly things can be done across the sectors.