Government boosts funding for on-street EV charging

The Government is aiming to spread the funding across all UK regions 

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the money, which is being offered to local authorities, will support the installation of 3,600 charge points for those without access to off-street parking and ensure “postcode plays no part in how easy it is to use an electric car”.

It is also looking at how to make information about all public charge points, including their locations and power ratings, openly available in a standard format for the first time. This could include real-time information, such as whether they are currently working or being used, which could be incorporated into navigation apps.

The details of publicly funded charge points are already required to be uploaded to the National Chargepoint Registry created in 2011.

“We want to make electric cars the new normal, and ensuring drivers have convenient places to charge is key to that,” said transport secretary Grant Shapps.

“By doubling funding again for charge points on streets where people live and opening up data we are helping drivers easily locate and use affordable, reliable charge points whether at home or on the road.”

Future of transport minister George Freeman added: “Supporting the smart use of open data for new apps to help passengers and drivers plan journeys, and to reduce congestion and pollution, is key.

“Comprehensive chargepoint data is crucial for mapping charging hotspots and notspots for consumers to help to drive forward the electric vehicle revolution.

“We urge local councils to make use of the funding available to ensure their residents feel the benefits of cleaner transport.”

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology’s EV lead Daniel Brown commented: “The government’s continued commitment to building a world-leading EV charging infrastructure network is welcome.

“Whilst coordination and collaboration between industry and government is needed across the breadth of types of charging, including in homes, workplaces, destinations, and for rapid hubs, for many people on-street charging is a vital part of the network without which they will not have the confidence to move into an EV.

“As such, we are pleased to see this announcement. All eyes are now looking to the forthcoming budget and National Infrastructure Strategy.”

Meanwhile, a new report from consultancy Delta-EE has found that the charging infrastructure in the UK is amongst the most widespread in Europe.

Of the 190,000 public charge points so far installed on the continent, the UK accounts for 24,000. This places it fourth in terms of sheer numbers behind France (30,000), Germany (33,000) and the Netherlands (43,000). Norway came fifth with 12,000.

At 9:1, the ratio of EV to chargers in the UK currently exceeds the European Commission’s recommendation of 10:1 but is still higher than in the Netherlands (4:1), Germany (7:1) and France (7:1). The ratio in Norway is 24:1.

Commenting on the findings, Delta-EE senior analyst Alexander Lewis-Jones said: “There’s a lot of talk about range anxiety and a lack of charging infrastructure being a barrier to uptake, but our research shows this shouldn’t be the case as the UK has over 24,000 charge points accessible to the public.

“While this is a strong number, we can’t get complacent and should be urging local authorities to install charge points in their area.”

However, he also noted that many existing charge points are currently underutilised. “If you’re an investor, that doesn’t fill you with confidence on your rate of return. The sector needs to be more creative in finding revenues and making the business case stack up.”

The report also found that British drivers have a higher rate of preference for charging at home (61%) than the average European (54%). 

Tom Grimwood

This article appeared first on edie’s sister title, Utility Week

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