Rollout of EV charge points to be accelerated


Author: Mankirat Kaur

The government is accelerating the rollout of electric vehicle charge points with new initiatives aimed at supporting electric vehicle drivers.

These measures, part of the government's Plan for Drivers, include grants for schools, funding for councils, and proposals to increase the number of charge points available.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, will launch support for greener schools in Nottinghamshire, introducing a new grant covering up to 75% of the cost for purchasing and installing charge points, with a maximum grant of £2,500 per socket, a significant increase from the previous £350.

Funded by the Department for Transport, this grant, part of the Workplace Charging Scheme, targets state-funded schools, colleges, nurseries, and academies to enhance charge point facilities for staff and visitors. It presents an opportunity for schools to generate revenue by making charge points accessible to the public.

Additionally, the government is allocating £381 million through the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund to local authorities nationwide. The first capital payments for charging projects have been approved for several local authorities, including those in East Sussex, North Yorkshire, and two London boroughs, totalling over £14.2 million. This funding aims to support the installation of thousands of new chargers, ensuring a swift rollout to accommodate drivers across the country.

To bolster local authorities' efforts, nearly 100 dedicated EV officers have been recruited through LEVI capability funding. The government is also launching an electric vehicle infrastructure (EVI) training course for local authority officers, accessible to all authorities starting mid-March, following a successful trial period.

“We’re getting on with delivering our Plan for Drivers, and this latest set of measures will mean EV owners everywhere benefit from easier and more convenient access to charge points”, says Anthony Browne.

“This government has already spent over £2 billion to ensure a smooth switch to EVs, and we’re committed to supporting drivers as we transition towards net zero in a proportionate way that doesn’t burden working people”, he continued.

Furthermore, the government is taking steps to improve public charging infrastructure, ensuring transparency and ease of comparison in pricing across charge points. Over 53,000 public charge points have been installed across the UK, with new laws mandating transparent pricing and contactless payment options, enhancing reliability for EV drivers.

Other measures include consultations to expedite charge point installation through permit-based street works and efforts to remove limitations on EV charging outlet installations.