The UK Transport Secretary announced on Monday an extra £2.5 million (AU$4.46 million) for electric vehicle chargepoints on residential streets which is expected to fund the installation of over 1,000 new on-street EV charging points.
The £2.5 million in funding will support the country’s existing on-street residential chargepoint scheme, which was announced in 2016 and launched in 2017 in an effort to provide UK residents with “one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world” – including those without access to off-street parking.
Local Authorities were invited to submit applications to receive funding on a first-come, first-served basis.
Already the chargepoint scheme has seen 16 Local Authorities prepared to install 1,200 chargepoints this year, which are being built into existing roadside infrastructure such as lampposts.
The doubling of available funding follows a 158 per cent increase in battery electric vehicle sales in the UK, compared to July last year, and is intended to both meet demand and accelerate EV uptake.
This is particularly important in the wake of the UK’s decision earlier this year to enshrine in law a 2050 net-zero emissions target – a first for a major economy.
Further, the new funding will fall under the UK’s £1.5 billion investment underpinned by the Road to Zero Strategy which is intended to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles.
“It’s fantastic that there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible chargepoints and double the number of electric vehicle chargepoints than petrol stations, but we want to do much more,” explained UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.
“That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need to super-charge the zero-emission revolution – right across the country.”
As part of the new funding, the UK government will also invest £37 million into British engineering to develop electric chargepoint infrastructure that could rapidly expand the UK chargepoint network for people without off-street parking.