Government injects £37m into innovative EV charging projects

Plans have been outlined by the government to invest £37m into twelve projects to drive forward growth in ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

Sales of pure EVs are up - but wide-scale adoption is slow and some plug-in vehicle registrations have declined in 2019.

Sales of pure EVs are up - but wide-scale adoption is slow and some plug-in vehicle registrations have declined in 2019.

The schemes receiving the cash pot focus on wireless charging technologies aimed at ensuring that more EVs in the future can charge without the need to plug in a cable.

Projects include £3m for Urban Foresight’s ‘pop up’ chargers, which are built into the pavement, for discreet charging without the need for off-street parking.

Another scheme will see existing Virgin Media infrastructure deliver charging, using high-speed internet connections to share information on charging processes and available parking spaces.

Char.gy, an electric charging firm, has also received £2.3m to develop wireless charging on resident streets without additional cables or infrastructure.

Char.gy's chief executive Richard Stobart said: “Working in collaboration with the Open University and The University of Warwick’s WMG we are excited to show our ability to retrofit to existing electric vehicles and enable several parking bays per lamp column without the need for cables will accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles.”

Initial three-month feasibility studies have now been completed and successful projects are moving onto the next stage of development, using the funding pot.

Road to Zero

The news comes a year after the government’s Road to Zero strategy, which has seen a 60% increase in battery EV registrations in this period of 2019 compared to 2018. But falls in grants for plug-in hybrid EVs saw a decline of 34% in registrations for those types of vehicles.

The strategy sets out how the Government intends to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, highlighting low-carbon fuels and hybrid vehicles as solutions to bridge the transition in the meantime.

It sets an interim target of ensuring more than half of new car sales and 40% of new van sales are ultra-low emission by 2030. It was slammed by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) as ‘not ambitious enough’ due to a lack of financial support from the Government for business fleets switching to EVs throughout the 2020s.

Future of Mobility Minister Michael Ellis, said: “The Road to Zero strategy sets out new measures to clean up road transport and lead the world in developing, manufacturing and using zero emission road vehicles.

“Through funding these projects, the government is incentivising drivers to move towards buying electric vehicles, supporting the key aims of the strategy.”

James Evison



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