Smart Transport

Local authorities receive extra funding to deliver Government’s plan for 300,000 EV chargers

Electric car charging

The Government will provide £450m of funding to local authorities for the rollout of new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. 

It’s part of a £1.6 billion strategy to deliver a network of 300,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers by 2030, representing a tenfold increase in the current number of publicly available points. 

£500 million will be invested to bring public chargepoints to communities across the UK. This includes a £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, which will fund projects such as EV hubs and on-street charging solutions. 

A pilot scheme for the LEVI fund, launching today (March 25), will see local authorities bid for a share of £10 million in funding, allowing 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 – ensuring 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. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) says charging an EV will become “easier and cheaper” than refuelling a petrol or diesel car, as a result of the new plans. 

The Geospatial Commission has today launched a discovery project to explore how location data can be better utilised to support planning and delivery of electric vehicle charge points by local authorities. 

Dr Steve Unger, commissioner at the Geospatial Commission, said: “Location data will play a key role in planning the UK’s transition to electric vehicles and help make net zero a reality. Through this project, the Geospatial Commission will understand the challenges faced by local authorities who wish to exploit location data. By working together, we will be able to unlock the potential for data-driven innovation in transport.” 

New legal requirements are being introduced for chargepoint operators, mandating that they provide real-time data about chargepoints so EV drivers can compare prices and use apps to find their nearest available chargepoint.  

Users must also be able to pay for charging by contactless card and the Government has set a 99% reliability rate for rapid chargepoints. 

The Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “No matter where you live – be that a city centre or rural village, the north, south, east or west of the country – we’re powering up the switch to electric and ensuring no one gets left behind in the process. 

“The scale of the climate challenge ahead of us all is well known and decarbonising transport is at the very heart of our agenda. 

“That’s why 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 will continue to play a key role in the rollout of chargers and BP Pulse has announced its own plans to spend £1 billion over the next ten years, tripling its own network of chargepoints in the UK. 

Richard Bartlett, senior vice president of BP Pulse, said: “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.” 

Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve, added: “This decade is critical for the UK’s electric vehicle transition. With the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles quickly emerging, we must ensure that we have the charging infrastructure in place to support current and future electric vehicle drivers. In addition to our Electric Forecourts , Gridserve is currently delivering the biggest upgrade to the motorway charging infrastructure in UK history, ensuring the UK’s motorway charging infrastructure is ready for the mass adoption of electric vehicles.  

“We welcome the Government’s commitments to expanding the UK’s charging network, and it’s crucial these commitments are met with action. The race is now on for the industry to accelerate the deployment of chargers across the country, giving drivers in all corners of the UK access to dependable charging, and in turn, complete confidence to make the switch to electric vehicles.” 

 

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