Plug It In2023
The Evening Standard kickstarted its ‘Plug It In’ campaign in a bid to encourage London to go electric, with the aim to clean up the city’s air pollution: “Our Plug It In drive aims to clean up the capital’s toxic air by making it easier and cheaper for motorists to ditch their petrol and diesel cars and switch to zero tailpipe emission vehicles.
“Clean air is not an extra or add-on. The particulate matter spluttered out by internal combustion engines seeps into our bloodstream on a journey to our hearts and lungs. Thousands die in London every year because of pollution. It ought not be dismissed as the cost of doing business.”
The Standard have called for a series of initiatives to improve London’s air quality:
- Removing VAT on public chargers.
- Capping premium rates on rapid chargers.
- Outlining the importance of hitting 2030 targets for improving air quality and the need to go electric.
- Devising an Oyster-style card giving Londoners access to all charging points and a flat rate across the city.
- Educating Londoners about how and where to charge electric cars and building confidence in the charging network.
- Overcoming resistance to electric vehicles by encouraging test drives.
- Making it easier for companies to build chargers — and harder not to.
- Removing petrol and diesel cars from London as soon as possible.
- Lobbying for the reinstatement of electric vehicle subsidies.
- Growing the second-hand market to make electric cars more affordable.
The Standard also published a 10,000-word white paper detailing all the ideas from their Plug It In summit last year, attended by government officials, car manufacturers, environmental NGOs, SMEs, and scientists.
The Standard have a history of campaigning for improving air quality in London, starting in 1952 after the Great Smog of London. The Standard pressed the then government for four years to improve the city’s air quality, resulting in the Clean Air Act in 1956.