A new pilot in the UK, backed by £20 million of government and industry funding, will help provide electric vehicle (EV) drivers access to chargepoints across the country.
Through the innovative Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme, local authorities and industry will work together to create new, commercial EV charging infrastructure for residents. This will range from faster on-street chargepoints to larger petrol station-style charging hubs.
The rollout supports the government’s drive to encourage more motorists to transition to electric vehicles. This will also save drivers money on fuel and running costs, as well as improving air quality as the country moves towards net zero.
The winners of the pilot fund are Barnet, Dorset, Durham, Kent, Midlands Connect (with Lincolnshire as a lead authority), North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Warrington. The funding is expected to deliver over 1,000 public chargepoints across the areas. This will not only help current EV drivers but should help speed up the transition to zero emission vehicles in these locations.
The scheme will help residents without private driveways to have better access to EV chargers, as well as growing the charging network across the country. Plus, it supports the nation’s uptake of zero emission vehicles and enabling more people to drive and charge without fear of being caught short, no matter where they are.
The pilot is backed by £10 million of government funding shared among the nine winning local authorities in the first tranche of the planned £450 million scheme, with winning pilot bids supported by an additional £9 million in private funding. A further £1.9 million will come from public funds across local authorities.
Trudy Harrison, Decarbonisation Minister, said: “We want to expand and grow our world-leading network of EV chargepoints, working closely with industry and local government, making it even easier for those without driveways to charge their electric vehicles and support the switch to cleaner travel.
“This scheme will help to level up electric vehicle infrastructure across the country, so that everyone can benefit from healthier neighbourhoods and cleaner air.”
Edmund King OBE, AA president, said: “It is essential that more on-street chargers are delivered to boost the transition to zero emission vehicles for those without home charging.
“This injection of an extra £20 million funding will help bring power to electric drivers across England from Durham to Dorset. This is one further positive step on the road to electrification.”
The scheme will allow local authorities to provide feedback on how to grow the network and the role the private sector can play.
Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy, said: “We know that there are many drivers who do not have driveways or any form of off-street parking, so investing in streetside charging is an absolute necessity.
“Drivers can also look forward to the prospect of local charging hubs which will give them somewhere to quickly charge their vehicles without needing to drive any considerable distance. The goal must be to spark electric vehicle uptake by creating an excellent charging infrastructure that caters for everyone’s needs.”
The new LEVI fund builds on the success of the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS). This has seen nearly 2,900 chargepoints installed so far with funding provided for approaching 10,000 additional chargepoints in the future.
Following growing demand from local authorities, the government is also announcing a further £10 million in funding. This has been brought forward for this year, bringing this year’s ORCS funding to £30 million to help maintain ongoing installations.