Go Ultra Low City Scheme

London aims to be the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) capital of Europe


The Go Ultra Low City Scheme is a programme by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles within the Department for Transport. The scheme provided funding to local authorities to deliver a range of projects to support the uptake of zero emissions vehicles.

In 2016, London Councils, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL) formed a partnership bid for funding, that can be found here. The bid was awarded total of £13.2m Go Ultra Low Cities Scheme (GULCS) funding to support London in becoming an ‘ultra low emissions vehicle capital’ and funded the delivery of the workstreams below: 

On-street residential and car club charge points

More than half of the funding awarded was allocated to London boroughs to deliver on-street residential charge points, to support the c. 60 per cent of residents who do not have access to off-street parking. Funding was provided to cover 75% of the capital costs of delivery and the workstream initially aimed to deliver 2,150 charge points.

In total, this workstream funded the delivery of more than 4,000 on-street residential chargepoints, most of which have been delivered in on or lamp post columns to reduce the impact on London’s streetscape. Funding has also enabled the sharing of best practice and knowledge sharing across London boroughs, upskilling officers in the delivery of charge point infrastructure.

A small number of dedicated charge points were delivered in car club bays to support the electrification of commercial car clubs in London.

Rapid charge points

Funding was allocated to TfL to support the delivery of 300 rapid charge points delivered in partnership with London boroughs. The programme completed delivery at the end of 2020 and included the first rapid charging hub in London at Stratford International car park. London boroughs were also provided with funding to independently deliver eight rapid charge points.

Rapid chargers are mostly used by commercial vehicles such as taxi, delivery and courier drivers and are designed to be used for around 30 minutes for a quick charge.

Community Charging Hubs

Two boroughs were provided funding to deliver Community Charging Hubs, providing a  grouped hub of slow to fast chargers in off-street, residential areas designed for open access, ideally based on a booking model. The model is of interest due to the opportunity it raises with energy management, as vehicles will be plugged in for a long time and could spread the draw on the grid using grid management techniques.

Neighbourhoods of the Future

Eight boroughs and Heathrow Airport were allocated funding to deliver Neighbourhoods of the Future (NoF) projects -  to deliver innovative, area-based projects and policies to encourage the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles.  Funding was used to deliver a range of projects including: healthy school streets, ultra low emission streets, electric vehicle training for mechanics, electric vehicle trials for local businesses and residents, e-bike loan schemes for residents and retrofitting an ambulance with hydrogen technology.

Supporting Measures

To support London boroughs to deliver charge points that provided a consistent standard of delivery across the capital, the programme partners worked together to develop bespoke multi-supplier procurement frameworks in 2018 for residential chargepoints up to 22 kW and rapid charge points up to 50 kW. The frameworks were published in 2018 and designed to provide an efficient procurement option, reducing the resource required to procure charge points in each borough. It also ensured pan-London standards on charge point reliability, data sharing, pricing etc. while offering each borough flexibility to deliver chargepoints that suit their requirements.

In addition, centralised delivery support was provided through a coordination function at London Councils, who regularly share knowledge, identify opportunities for funding, collate charge point usage data to understand patterns of use and inform future planning and work with partners to identify opportunities to support borough delivery of charge point infrastructure.