The UK government has released plans today for the country to reach 300,000 public electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints by 2030. This is around five times the of fuel pumps today.
This is backed by a £1.6 billion investment, under the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, which will make charging easier and cheaper than refuelling a petrol or diesel car.
It will also put legal requirements on operators to allow drivers of electric vehicles to be able to pay by contactless, compare charging prices and find nearby chargepoints via apps.
The new strategy sets out the government’s aim to expand the UK’s charging network, so that it is robust, fair and covers the entire country. It will also improve the consumer experience at all chargepoints, with significant support focused on those without access to off-street parking and on fast charging for longer journeys.
The government will spend £500 million to bring high quality, competitively priced public chargepoints to communities across the UK. This includes a £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund. This will boost projects such as electric vehicle hubs and innovative on-street charging to help those without driveways.
A pilot scheme for the LEVI fund launching today will see local authorities bid for a share of £10 million in funding. This will allow selected areas to work with industry and boost public charging opportunities.
Meanwhile, the LEVI funding includes up to £50 million to fund staff to work on local challenges and public chargepoint planning. This will ensure that any development complements all other zero emission forms of travel, such as walking and cycling.
The existing £950 million Rapid Charging Fund will support the rollout of at least 6,000 high powered super-fast chargepoints across England’s motorways by 2035.
This comes on top of ministers’ pledges to continue addressing any barriers to private sector rollout of chargepoints, such as local councils delaying planning permission and high connection costs.
Ambitious and innovative chargepoint operators are already committed to installing an additional 15,000 rapid chargepoints across England’s entire road network – a quadrupling of the current offer – and over 100,000 on-street chargepoints by 2025.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, said: “We’re powering ahead with plans to help British people go electric, with our expanding charging network making journeys easier right across the country.
“Clean transport isn’t just better for the environment but is another way we can drive down our dependence on external energy supplies. It will also create new high-skilled jobs for our automotive and energy sectors and ultimately secure more sustainable and affordable motoring for all.
“These plans will also require a 99 percent reliability rate at rapid chargepoints to ensure they are world-class and give consumers confidence in finding chargepoints that work wherever they travel – helping eradicate so-called ‘range anxiety’.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said: “We’re ensuring the country is EV-fit for future generations by the end of this decade, revolutionising our charging network and putting the consumer first.
The private sector plays a key role in helping the country make the switch to electric. As we mentioned earlier in the week, the UK’s most-used charging network company, bp pulse, is today announcing its own plans to spend £1 billion on developing charging infrastructure in the UK, supporting hundreds of new jobs.
Richard Bartlett, bp pulse senior vice president, said: “This £1 billion investment is vital to provide the charging infrastructure the UK needs. We’re investing to build a world-class network.
“This investment allows us to deliver more. More high-speed charging in dedicated hubs and on existing fuel and convenience sites. More home charging services. And crucial enhancements to our digital technology that will make charging fast, easy and reliable.”
Alongside the pioneering strategy, the government is additionally launching an automotive roadmap outlining joint government and industry commitments to achieve the decarbonisation of road transport.
This is the first in a series of roadmaps that will be published over the course of the year for each sector of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, showcasing how the UK is delivering on its green commitments.
The roadmap brings together the government’s policies designed to help and support the automotive sector in the shift towards greener transport and will help businesses plan more effectively in the transition to a zero-emission future.