More charging stations on the road
Funding announced for main road charging stations
Motorways are to get more Electric Vehicle charging stations. This comes as analysts emphasise the need to reduce ‘range anxiety’ amongst the public. Providing a more accessible, cheap and fast charging network is seen as key.
The new funding announced will support the installation of around 3,550 public electric vehicle charge points. These will be installed over the course of the next two years.
Ofgem – the non-ministerial Government department responsible for regulating the UK’s gas and electricity markets – will fund the installation. New cabling at motorway service areas and key trunk road locations will allow 1,800 rapid EV chargers to be built. There will also be 1,750 new public chargers in towns and cities in order to improve local access .
Ofgem’s research finds 36% of households put off purchasing an electric car by the lack of public charge points.
Rachel Maclean MP, minister for the future of transport, said the investment would “greatly improve the resilience” of the UK’s EV charging network. Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, added that it would give drivers “more charging options for longer journeys”.
This news comes alongside an announcement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) of a £166.5 million investment into green technology. This expects to lead to the creation of 60,000 jobs. Support for transport is an integral part of the funding focus.
Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the scheme “will encourage the rapid development of the technologies we need to reign in our emissions and transition to a green economy – one that reduces costs for business, boosts investment and creates jobs”.
In March this year, the Government cut the electric car grant from £3,000 – £2,500. The grant provides an incentive, cutting the cost of new EVs under £35,000. The surprise cut in the grants and the new price cap (down from £50,000) appear to contradict other policies and funding aims. Many manufacturers reduced their headline prices in response, but the high cost of new EVs remain a big hurdle preventing the public from plugging into the EV revolution.