From Oslo to London: These are the cities across the globe leading the charge on electric vehicles

Rebecca Smith
London's new electric taxi has six seats and contactless card machines (
London's new electric taxi has six seats and contactless card machines ( (Source: LEVC)

London has been listed among the cities leading the way for electric vehicles in a new report from the World Economic Forum and Bain & Company on how the electric car revolution could help slash travel costs.

The capital is included thanks to the Transport for London (TfL) licensing change at the beginning of the year to phase out diesel taxis, with all new taxis needing to be zero emissions capable. There are plans to implement 150 rapid charging points by the end of 2018.

Other cities rated by the WEF report include Oslo in Norway, with plans to have its fleet of 1,200 public vehicles using electricity by 2020, and introducing restrictions on cars entering the city centre, with priority lane access for shared electric vehicles only.

Read more: London's new electric black cab has just arrived in Norway - with a twist

Cities leading the charge on electric vehicles

Berlin: The EUREF Campus business park hosts technology companies and research institutions, and offers charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) as well as inductive charging for fleet operation.
Buenos Aires, Montreal and Santiago: Have all prioritised the electrification of public transport through the public procurement of electric buses
Dortmund: The city is developing non-financial incentives for last-mile delivery companies to electrify their fleets: EVs receive permission for extended access to the city centre
Guangzhou: The city plans to speed up bus electrification and aims to reach 200,000 new units in 2018
Hong Kong: The local government encourages developers to scale-up the EV charging infrastructure
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) decided to switch 260 fleet vehicles to EVs. Charging infrastructure development is also under way and being integrated with decentralized solar power generation
London: TfL requires all new black cabs to be electric or emission-free, and diesel vehicles will not be permitted in London by 2032
Oslo: The city plans to have its fleet of 1,200 public vehicles using electricity by 2020, has introduced restrictions on cars entering the city centre and granted access to priority lanes for shared EVs only
Paris: The region of Ile-de-France and private partners developed Autolib, an electric car sharing service with 4,000 EVs and 1,100 charging stations

San Francisco: The Department of Motor Vehicles provides licences to test driverless cars on public roads in the Silicon Valley as part of an experimental programme

London's new electric black cab, created by the London Electric Vehicle Company, has also touched down in Norway in the firm's second international deal. A few hundred of the new cabs are expected to be delivered for drivers across the capital over the coming months.

However, there some concerns have been raised over the rate of rapid charge point installation in London - crucial for high mileage fleets like taxis and freight vehicles.

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly member, has said longer-term plans to reach 300 rapid charging points by 2020 are "far too timid".

Recommendations in the WEF report to help fuel the electric vehicle revolution include prioritising high-use vehicles, such as fleet and autonomous cars. "The goal is to accelerate the electrification of miles to maximise the value creation," it said.

“Autonomous vehicles and grid edge technologies are around the corner, and cities, in particular the smartest ones, will deploy them at rapid pace," said Joseph Scalise, partner at Bain & Company. "The mobility and energy players should start building strategies and business models now to embrace these changes and leverage them for sustainable and profitable growth."

Read more: BP's invested in an electric car charging startup

Related articles