Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy unveiled

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Government has announced plans to support the UK market to reach 300,000 public electric vehicle chargepoints by 2030 under the new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.

Backed by £1.6 billion, under the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, charging is set to become ‘easier and cheaper’ than refuelling a petrol or diesel car, while new legal requirements on operators will see drivers of EVs able to pay by contactless, compare charging prices and find nearby chargepoints via apps.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps commented: “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 government has announced that £500 million will be invested to bring ‘high quality, competitively priced’ public chargepoints to communities across the UK.

This includes a £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, which will boost projects such as EV hubs and innovative on-street charging.

Local authorities can bid for a share of £10 million in funding as part of a pilot scheme for the LEVI fund, 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 – set to 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, ensuring the UK continues to lead the Western world in the provision of rapid and ultra-rapid public chargers.

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.

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.

Alongside the electric vehicle 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 Ten Point Plan.

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.