Hackney plans to install more electric car charging points

Scheme going ahead although �8,000 Dalston point only been used once since its installation

Plans to install more electric vehicle charging points in Hackney will still go ahead, despite �8,000 being spent on a point that has only been used once since its installation.

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information act reveal that the charging point in Bentley Road car park, Dalston - the first in the borough - was used just once since it was fitted three months ago.

But Hackney Council still intends to install three more of units next year, despite the high cost and low usage levels.

Hackney has one of the lowest levels of overall car ownership in the capital.

Transport for London (TfL) which paid for the charging point and have part-funded more than 250 across the capital, had originally earmarked �20m for Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s plans to make London the electric car capital of the world.

Although the budget has been cut to �7m earmarked, at a time when the government body is increasing travel fares and slashing jobs.

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A TFL spokesman said: “Supporting delivery of new charging points is absolutely key to encouraging more people to go electric.

“This new market is developing rapidly and with more charge points planned and motoring manufacturers bringing new vehicles to market we expect take up of electric vehicles to increase considerably.”

The government’s recently announced Plug-In Car Grant , which from January 1 2011 will give consumers a 25 per cent discount of up to �5,000 when buying any of the nine electric cars signed up to the scheme, is also expected to encourage people to go electric.

A spokeswoman for Hackney Council said: “One of the key aims of the current EV charging point installation programme is to raise the visibility of charging infrastructure across London, to generate consumer interest and bolster the confidence of those contemplating the purchase of an electric vehicle.

“This charging point aims to meet the Mayor of London’s criteria of ensuring that every Londoner is within three miles of a publicly accessible charging point.”

There are currently approximately 17,000 pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles registered in London.