Zest wins TfL contract to set up electric charging points on public land in London

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Transport for London has awarded electric vehicle infrastructure provider Zest a contract to roll out 39 new EV charging bays by the end of 2024.

The charge points will be built on 24 sites in south and south-west London, The 39 new bays will be installed at 24 locations spread across Bromley, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth.

The charging infrastructure will be placed in parking bays near key routes used for essential road journeys typically made by high mileage, commercial users – including taxis and delivery vehicles.

Zest will provide and operate the charge points for 15 years, with no financial costs or operational overheads for TfL. Under the terms of the contract, TfL will receive a share of charging revenues and a ground rent for the use of its land. Zest is backed by the government-sponsored Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), the £420m public-private fund whose mission is to be the catalyst for large-scale EV infrastructure projects like this.

As part of its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure strategy, TfL’s modelling predicts that if current demand continues, the city will need at least 1,600 rapid charge points by 2025 and up to 3,900 by 2030.

To help achieve these numbers, TfL is looking at how to bring more of its own land into use for EV charging bays and is working with other members of the Greater London Authority, including the London Fire Brigade, the London Ambulance Service, and the Metropolitan Police, as well as partners in the NHS and London Borough Councils, to increase the density of the rapid charging network across the London.

This innovation sees TfL take public land to the private market. More than 100,000 plug-in electric cars and vans are already registered in the capital. With close to 13,000 charge points, London currently has 31% of all EV charging infrastructure across the UK, more than any other UK region.

London is on track to meet the target of 40,000-60,000 charging points by 2030, but to facilitate this ambitious goal, London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to add 100 new rapid charge points. Around 880 of the EV charging points across the capital are rapid or ultra-rapid charging points that deliver a full charge within 30 minutes – this includes 300 delivered by TfL. The number of rapid charging points across the capital also includes London’s 26 rapid charging hubs, which work much like petrol stations for electric cars.

David Rowe, TfL’s Director of Investment Delivery Planning, said: “More rapid charging points are key to encouraging people and businesses to make the transition to electric vehicles, giving drivers confidence that they have a place to power up in a short period of time.”

Zest CEO Robin Heap said: “The UK needs an injection of serious infrastructure to meet its net zero goals, and it is farsighted public sector organisations who are taking the lead. Placing rapid and ultra-rapid charging points directly on to London’s high-volume arterial roads will make it easier for drivers to choose electric and improve the air quality for local communities. We’re looking forward to providing and operating these charge points in partnership with Transport for London.”

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles announced in late March that London has been allocated £35.7m funding for Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) Capital funding. This is additional to the £9.7m LEVI pilot funding awarded in the last financial year. This will see 400 fast charge points introduced in boroughs across north and west London, alongside additional government funding awarded to boroughs through the On-street Residential Charge point Scheme.

In 2021, TfL opened the Glass Yard charging hub in Woolwich where eight vehicles can recharge simultaneously from the charging points, receiving a full battery in around half an hour.

The hub in south London is part of TfL’s strategy to have a rapid charging hub in every one of the capital’s five sub-regions: north, south, east, west and central. The first EV hub was built in east London at Stratford International and construction of a hub at Baynard House in the City of London was completed last year, bringing six rapid charging points to central London.

In recent months, two further hubs have been brought to London – MFG Collier Row and Euro Garages’ hub at Heathrow North. These hubs house 14 rapid charge points between.