Lewisham’s mayor and cabinet have given the green light to 140 new electric vehicle charging points by 2021, in a move expected to improve air quality.

The authority wants electric charging points to cover the borough and be no further than 500m apart as the demand for electric vehicles is predicted to rise.

This includes both commercial and personal vehicles, cabinet member for environment and transport, Brenda Dacres, said.

“Our target is for journeys to be taken by active travel or public transport with a key aim being to reduce car-dependency, but we also recognise for some this is not always possible.

“If we are to see more people changing to electric and hybrid vehicles for private and commercial use then we must ensure that we must have the infrastructure in place for low emission vehicles to be able to charge.

“This strategy will ensure all Lewisham residents, businesses and visitors are within 500m of an electric vehicle charge point by 2021.

“Lewisham has declared a climate emergency and we are fully committed to using all our powers at our disposal.

“Switching from fossil fuel vehicles to electric is vital, and will help slash air pollution,” she said.

The decision followed a public consultation where 84 per cent of people supported the scheme, with residents keen to act against climate change, she said.

“However, the government must do more to support this switch to electric vehicles. Last year central government scrapped subsidies for plug in hybrids and reduced them for battery electric vehicles.  Only last week figures showed that the sales of low emission vehicles fell for the first time in more than two years. It is crucial the government supports those who want to switch to low and zero emission vehicles and they must also bring forward the date of ending sales of new diesel and petrol vehicles,” she added.

Demand for electric vehicles is expected to rise by 400 per cent in the next six years, she said.