£450m Boost For EV Charging

Mon 28th Mar 2022

In the face of growing criticism the UK government has finally addressed concerns about the falling rate of public charge points for electric cars.

The boom in EVs has seen the greener alternative overtake diesel this year in terms of sales, but worryingly, cash-strapped local authorities have struggled to keep pace with the change in the market. 

The Department of Transport this week have confirmed that their £450 investment in the public charging infrastructure should give drivers access to around 300,000 public chargers by 2030, an impressive total, five times the number of fuel pumps currently in UK petrol stations.

“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,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

The new announcement is part of a previously announced package of £1.6bn, though the £450m figure is ring-fenced exclusively for local authorities to improve their local network.

There are still concerns however that there is still no national direction for the implementation, with local councils still frustrated and unable to install the public chargers. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has called for a more coordinated strategy.

“Government has rightly recognised that Britain’s electric mobility revolution must put the needs of the consumer at the heart of the transition,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “Consumers already have certainty about the vehicles, with ever-increasing choice, thanks to billions of pounds of manufacturer investment, but charging infrastructure must keep pace with the rapid growth of sales of these cars.

“The EV infrastructure strategy points in the right direction, addressing problems with the current customer charging experience and setting out a nationally co-ordinated, locally delivered plan which aims to ‘build ahead of need’. The UK already has an enviable and ever-growing rapid charging network, so focus must be given to expanding public on-street and destination charging provision.

“Every stakeholder will have to play their part in this transition but, if industry and consumers are to have the certainty they need to invest, commensurate and binding targets must be set for infrastructure provision. Deployed nationally and at pace, this expansion would give drivers confidence they will be able to charge as easily as they would refuel, wherever they are.”