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London’s deadly, polluted air turned the city into an EV pioneer - Bloomberg Green

By Feargus O’Sullivan, Hayley Warren and Jeremy Cf Lin

An underground BP Pulse charging hub in Central London. Photo Credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
An underground BP Pulse charging hub in Central London. Photo Credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

An underground BP Pulse charging hub in Central London. Photo Credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg


London’s traffic congestion once meant that residents of the British capital had to endure some of the worst air quality in the developed world. In a bid to tackle an issue directly linked to deaths and respiratory problems, the city introduced some of the toughest restrictions on heavily polluting cars anywhere. The policies almost flipped a switch on adoption of electric vehicles.


Since they were put in place three years ago, these restrictions cost drivers of diesel and gasoline cars as much as £27.50 ($30.72) a day to enter the center of London. The number of licensed fully electric vehicles has increased more than fourfold in that span. The proportion of diesel cars has dropped more than a quarter.


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