The city of London is planning on installing 1,300 public charging stations across the city by the year 2013 under a membership program called Source London. Mayor Boris Johnson announced the new initiative, which, once completed, will have deployed more charging units than there are gasoline stations in the city.
At launch, the program installed 150 new charging stations, boosting the total number of public units to 400; certainly a decent number, but there is still significant ground to gain if London hopes to have adequate infrastructure to support 100,000 electric vehicles, up from the 17,000 already on the road.
In order to join the service and have access to the new stations, drivers must pay an annual membership fee of roughly $165, or purchase a Nissan Leaf as the first year is free from the automaker. Members are given a special card that only needs to be touched to the available unit in order to be unlocked for use, and drivers can use the stations an unlimited amount of times.
The Source London program folds into other incentive projects the United Kingdom has in place for green cars, including a tax credit over $8,000 for new vehicles. The Mayor of London has also removed the congestion tax for electric cars, a fee required to drive in certain parts of the city. Gasoline prices in London can be as high as roughly $6.20 per gallon, perhaps making commuters more anxious to find alternatives than American drivers.