C40 Electric Vehicle Network: Spotlight on London

One of the most powerful aspects of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is its ability to serve as a peer learning network among Cities with similar challenges and climate action agendas. The C40 Electric Vehicle Network is a strong example of this kind of collaboration at work.

Globally, the transport sector is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. C40 cities emit over 300 million metric tons of CO2 per year from the transport sector; fortunately, this is also an area where mayors exercise strong powers to take action.

Founded in December 2009, the EV network now includes 17 Cities that are seeking to increase the uptake of electric vehicles in their jurisdictions -- by converting vehicle fleets, investing in charging stations, and marshalling incentives for their use. The C40/CCI Transportation program provides strategic advice and fosters communication between the Cities and car manufacturers (including partners BYD, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Renault), charging services companies (including partner ECOtality), electrical utilities, and fleet proprietors (including partner TNT). 

One network member – London – has made great strides in achieving its goal of having 100,000 electric vehicles on the road as soon as possible. To support this goal, London Mayor Boris Johnson recently announced a new electric vehicle procurement framework that saves time and money by providing public entities with a list of 16 pre-approved suppliers and manufacturers. Moreover, London is working closely with C40/CCI to encourage London-based private sector companies to purchase EVs for their fleets, in part by raising awareness of the business case for action; a pioneering set of 20 companies is now involved in this effort. Electric vehicles must be charged, of course, so in May 2011, the City launched its EV infrastructure program Source London, which will implement 1,300 publicly available charge points by 2013.

The members of the C40 EV Network – with C40/CCI help – are tracking the progress of London’s EV program and drawing lessons that can be applied to their own programs.  London’s success is an inspiration across the Network.