Smart Transport

Charge point investment extended to small business and rented accommodation

Electric Car, Electric Vehicle, Electric Plug, Charging, Cable

The Department for Transport (DfT) has extended the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) to help small businesses and people in leasehold and rented accommodation install electric vehicle charge points.

The EVHS, which provides up to £350 towards the cost of a charge point, will continue for the next year with up to £50 million of investment.

At the same time, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) will be opened up to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and the charity sector. The changes will also mean that small accommodation businesses, such as B&Bs, can benefit from the funding, boosting rural areas, and tackling the range anxiety associated with long journeys.

The investment follows £20 million in funding announced last week for councils to improve the on-street charging infrastructure in their local areas, and is part of a suite of measures the government is taking to accelerate electric vehicle uptake and decarbonise transport.

It comes as the DfT launches a consultation on improving the charging experience, including simplifying payments and increasing reliability, as part of the roadmap to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “Whether you’re on the school run or travelling to work, or don’t have access to a private parking space, today’s announcement will bring us one step closer to building and operating a public charge point network that is affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers.

“As the UK accelerates towards net-zero emissions by 2050, we are determined to deliver a world-leading electric vehicle charging network, as we build back greener and support economic growth across the country.”

The DfT consultation suggests simplifying payment at charge points to enable electric vehicle drivers to use contactless payment without having to download an app. It also seeks to make charge points more reliable and to force operators to provide a 24/7 call helpline for drivers.

Operators should also make location data, power rating and price information more accessible for drivers. The DfT says this is essential to ensure costs are fair, for driving competition and for increasing the confidence of both existing electric vehicle drivers and those considering making the switch.

It believes the proposals will ensure that it’s as easy – or even easier – for drivers to charge their car as it is to refuel a petrol or diesel vehicle.

Mike Cherry, chair at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “It’s great to see the Department for Transport putting businesses front and centre as part of the UK’s mission to achieve net-zero by 2050.

“Small businesses want to play a critical role in helping the UK reach its green targets, and electric vehicles are the future. That’s why this is important news for the nation, particularly rural areas which are often left behind.”

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