The launch of a new network of charging points for electric vehicles in Oxford has created one of the highest densities of EV charging points anywhere in Europe.

Chargemaster Plc has launched its 64-strong POLAR network of charging points in Oxford today after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hertz On Demand to operate an electric car sharing club in the city.

There are plans to install at least another 50 charging points in Oxford and the surrounding areas over the next 12 months - including a number of rapid charging units which enable electric cars to be re-charged in around 20 minutes - while there are a further 100 charging points available within 40 minutes’ drive from the city centre.

This network means the people of Oxford will have access to one charging post per 2,500 residents, overtaking the likes of Amsterdam and Paris to claim the unofficial title of 'the electric vehicle capital of Europe'.

The Dutch capital only offers one post per 4,000 people. However, it does boast 245 posts, while London and Paris have 654 and 458 respectively (see table below).

 
 
City
Available
EVCP
 
Population
People per
unit
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Oxford
64
153,000
2,391
 
2
Milton Keynes
78
265,000
3,397
 
3
Amsterdam
245
987,000
4,029
 
4
Newcastle
62
290,000
4,677
 
5
Paris
458
2,200,000
4,803
 
6
Dublin
66
528,000
8,000
 
7
London
654
7,800,000
11,927
 
8
Bristol
34
441,000
12,971
 
9
Cardiff
18
340,000
18,889
 
10
Barcelona
76
1,800,000
23,684
 

 

As part of the project, ten electric Nissan LEAFs will be available to book 24/7 online from www.hertzlondemand.co.uk for rental by the hour, day or week. These will be located in university campuses, street locations, local car parks, major employers’ car parks and other strategic locations across the city.

Over the next 18 months, as the project is rolled out, it is predicted that almost 30 new models of plug-in cars and light vans will be launched in the UK market by manufacturers such as BMW, Volvo, Nissan, Renault, Ford and Vauxhall.

It is widely expected that up to one in ten cars sold in the UK by 2020 will be electric or plug-in hybrid.