Transport for London has announced its intention to create a network of 300 rapid electric vehicle charging points by 2020.

Following a competitive tender process, Centrica Consortium, Bluepoint London (which currently operates the Source London network of chargers), Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Fastned were chosen to fund, maintain, operate and install the network of speedy chargers.

TfL said it is investing £18m in the network in order unlock land for the chargers and upgrading the power supply to accommodate the chargers, which can recharge EVs up to 80% of their capacity in half an hour.

London’s transport body also said it is evaluating creating strategic hubs on roads it owns and maintains, as well as at Heathrow Airport and “multiple” Shell service stations, which it could house a number of points.

TfL is aiming to have 75 charging points in the ground by the end of this year, with the network growing to 150 by the end of 2018 and 300 by 2020.

According to TfL, a maximum rate will be applied for pay-as-you-go customers for the first two years of the network. The transport body also revealed that customers will not need to subscribe to the network and will be able to pay at the points using credit and debit cards.

Prices have not yet been announced, but will be published by the suppliers closer to the charging stations going live.

The network will be fully integrated, meaning drivers will be able to use all five suppliers at no additional cost, which TfL said will make EVs easier to use.

In addition to the network of chargers, 24/7 call centres will be set up to answer customer queries, while the locations and availability of the as-yet unnamed network will be published online and will be available via a dedicated mobile app.

Ben Plowden, TfL’s director of surface strategy and planning, said: “Urgent action needs to be taken to clean up London’s toxic air and rid the capital of the most polluting vehicles. An extensive rapid charging network is fundamental in helping drivers make the shift from fossil fuels to electric. This is particularly important for the taxi and private hire trades and the fleet and freight sector, which over the next few years will be looking to dramatically increase the number of journeys made with zero-exhaust emissions.”

David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster added: “We are delighted to have been awarded a place on the TfL framework. My team have worked tirelessly with TfL over the last year to meet the demanding criteria. Air quality is a huge problem in London and the new electric-powered London taxis will make a significant difference over the next few years. We are delighted to be part of the programme and provide charging solutions across the city.”