The UK government announces £70 million rapid EV charging initiative at COP28

  • UK announces £70 million pilot for rapid EV charging at motorway stops.
  • Initiative, part of Rapid Charging Fund, ensures network capacity until 2035.
  • Global efforts include consultations, green shipping corridors, and the Global ZEV Transition Roadmap.

The UK government vows to spend £70 million upgrading the country’s rapid EV charging infrastructure at COP28

Transport Secretary Mark Harper announced a £70 million pilot scheme at COP28 in Dubai. This will supercharge the deployment of rapid EV charging across motorway service areas. The initiative, part of the government’s Rapid Charging Fund, targets up to ten trial sites in England. These sites will receive strategically boosted network capacity to accommodate the surging charging demand.

This ambitious plan has been revealed on COP28 Transport Day. It will provide a massive boost to the government’s commitment to future-proofing electricity network capacity until 2035. The initiative addresses a critical need for a robust long-distance charging network at motorway service areas. These pivotal stopping points will become integral to the UK’s electric highways. 

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The Rapid Charging Fund will subsidize the upgrade costs of successful motorway service areas. This will fuel private sector expansion of the charging network. This injection of funds facilitates infrastructure growth and instils consumer confidence in adopting EVs.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

“This Government is on the side of drivers and working with the private sector to provide robust chargepoint infrastructure is part of our Plan for Drivers, with today’s announcement paving the way for more ultra-rapid chargepoints.

This £70m pilot scheme is the starting point and sends a message to consumers and industry that we are investing wisely and rapidly to grow the future of transport in the UK.”

National Highways will deliver the pilot, gathering evidence to inform the design of a comprehensive fund. Simultaneously, a ten-week consultation seeks input from stakeholders, including chargepoint operators, motorway service area operators, and electricity suppliers. This collaborative effort aims to pinpoint the most crucial locations for chargers and optimize the design of the Rapid Charging Fund.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne said:

“This is an important next step in our journey to net zero, and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to help the private sector expand our charging network.

The scheme follows our world-leading zero emission vehicle mandate, meaning we are truly supporting drivers and industry in making the switch to electric.”

Beyond domestic initiatives, the UK and the US jointly announced a competition to develop trans-Atlantic green shipping corridors. This will build upon successful partnerships with countries like Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The launch of the world-first Global Zero Emissions Vehicles Transition Roadmap complements these efforts.

This £70 million injection of government funding comes as a relief to the UK’s automotive industry. This is especially prevalent following the contentious reception of the ZEV Mandate. The UK’s automotive industry is in an interesting state of flux, especially with the impending decision surrounding the 10% Brexit tariff. This £70 million in funding could provide a much needed boost to the UK’s charging infrastructure, and to the nation’s EV adoption.

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