A charging point giving a free boost for electric vehicles has appeared in Barnet as the first of a planned nationwide network of street charging stations.

It has been erected in High Road, North Finchley, in a deal with Barnet Council by the Australian Jolt charging network.

Jolt provides the first 7kWh free - enough to power cars for around 30 miles - and says its users can save up to £840 a year.

After the first boost of power, which takes 15 to 20 minutes, drivers are then charged per kWh.

The charging stations are being pushed as a solution for drivers hesitant about switching to all-electric and to “help reduce barriers to electric vehicle ownership”.

The deal follows a £2.1 million government grant to Barnet Council as part of the rollout of on-street charging stations up and down the country.

“Our ambition is for Barnet to be net zero by 2042,” Cllr Alan Schneiderman explained. “But we need to continue finding the right solutions to get us there.

“We have a duty to ensure the air we breathe is clean, so I’m pleased to see London’s first Jolt charge point being installed here.”

The network is already established in Australia and New Zealand and recently announced a deal for 5,000 street chargers across Canada.

Thousands of charging stations are planned across the UK.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “We are giving local authorities help to energise their chargepoint plans. This means thousands of new street chargers to be installed in due course, so that more people can make the transition to electric vehicles.”

Jolt's chief executive Doug McNamee said: “These state-of-the-art free and fast charging stations are a solution for drivers. They make electric vehicle ownership more attractive to car buyers looking for cost-effective convenience and sustainability.”