Electric vehicles (EVs)

Public transport and active travel (e.g. walking and cycling) remain the Council’s top transport priorities. However, electric cars and vans are a clean and safe alternative to the internal combustion engine and are an increasingly common sight on our roads.

As a growing number of residents and businesses drive electric vehicles, they will play an increasing role in reducing emission levels in Richmond, while saving their users substantial amounts of money in running costs.

New residential charging points

We have installed some new vehicle charging points in Barnes, Kew, North Richmond and South Twickenham with a view to expanding the number across the borough.

Request charging points

Benefits of Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have no tailpipe emissions of CO2 or the air pollutants which have a detrimental effect on human health. The London Mayor's Air Quality Strategy (MAQS) focuses specifically on improving air quality by setting tough new standards to put London on course to meet legal limits and drive long-term progress. This commits the Mayor to working with partners to put 100,000 electric vehicles on London's roads by 2020.

Apart from environmental benefits, other advantages include:

  • No Vehicle Excise Duty or London Congestion Charge for EV owners
  • Significantly lower fuel costs than the equivalent for petrol or diesel
  • Sufficient range for everyday living and working in London due to improved battery technology
  • Richmond borough EV owners are eligible for a Band A residents permit (currently free) when parking in Controlled Parking Zones, and if using a Richmond Card can park for free in Richmond parking bays


The UK Government offers Plug-in Vehicle Grant. This provides a subsidy linked to carbon dioxide emissions and zero emission range of vehicle up to:

  • 35% of the cost of a car, up to a maximum of either £3,500 provided the car has CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km (70 miles) without any emissions at all 
  • 20% of the cost of a van, up to a maximum of £8,000
  • 20% of the cost of a motorcycle, up to a maximum of £1,500

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) maintains the list of eligible vehicles as well as full details of categories and the subsidies available. The grant is automatically deducted from the retail price when an eligible vehicle is purchased, so there is no additional paperwork to complete, and there's no need to pay the full retail price and then reclaim the benefit. For the Plug-in Vehicle Grant, minimum warranty terms apply and pre-registration conversions are eligible. Please note, criteria for grants are subject to change. Please refer to the OLEV Guidance for more details

Charging at home

For residents and homeowners with existing off-street parking, charging an electric vehicle at home is the most convenient option. OLEV offers an Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme which currently offers a grant of 75% (capped at £350, inc VAT) towards the capital cost of the purchase and installation of a charge point in a garage or on the wall of your home.

However, please be aware that for any grant application to be approved, OLEV require evidence of off-road parking including vehicle crossover access. If you are considering installing a home charge unit but require a dropped kerb or ‘crossover’ to access your property, you will need to ensure that this is approved and completed before submitting your application to OLEV.

Please see the Dropped Kerbs page for further information about how to apply for a vehicle crossover.

Workplace EV charging grants

The UK Government has launched a Workplace Charging Scheme, which offers a grant of £500 per socket for companies to install EV charge points.

The scheme went live on 21 November 2016, with any business, charity or public authority eligible to claim the grant towards the cost of installing charge points, as long as they have dedicated off-street parking for staff or fleet use.

Installation will have to be carried out by an approved OLEV installer, just like the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). The contribution is limited to the 75% of purchase and installation costs, up to a maximum of £500 for each socket, up to a maximum of 20 across all sites for each applicant.

Unlike the EVHS, there is no need for the company to have a plug-in vehicle on its books, but a need must be declared on application. That can include plans to add plug-in vehicles to the company’s fleet, or as an incentive to encourage uptake of plug-in vehicles amongst staff.

The grant can only be claimed for new charge points yet to be installed, with no option to back-claim the amount against existing units. Also, three-pin sockets are not eligible for the grant.

Find out more about the Workplace Charging Scheme guidance

Richmond’s Electric Vehicle Recharging Strategy 2016-2026

We published our new Electric Vehicle Recharging Strategy(pdf, 1164KB) in November 2016. The strategy outlines a numbers of ways in which we plan to increase charging facilities for EV usage in the borough over the next ten years. We consulted on a draft of the strategy and have summarised the consultation feedback(pdf, 305KB).


Up to: Vehicles

Updated: 23 November 2020