The UK’s Transport Secretary has called on local authorities to take advantage of available funding to shore up their electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has written to local authorities across the UK, urging them to adopt government-funded programmes such as the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, the Workplace Charging Scheme; and the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. Funding may also be available through a £400m (€462.96m) sustainable innovation investment aimed at boosting the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, announced in September 2019.
Shapps said: “Your postcode should play no part in how easy it is to use an electric car, and I’m determined electric vehicles become the new normal for drivers. It’s good news there are now more charging locations than petrol stations, but the clear gaps in provision are disappointing. I urge local councils to take advantage of all the government support on offer to help ensure drivers in their area don’t miss out. To help increase the provision of charging locations, the government is offering grants for the installation of chargepoints on the street, in work and at home. We are also offering grants to lower the upfront cost of these cars, so everyone is able to experience the benefits.”
The Transport Secretary’s intervention comes as a regional ‘league table’ published by the UK Department for Transport highlights gaps in the provision of electric vehicle charging capabilities. The league table shows that, while nearly 4,000 publicly available electric vehicle chargepoints are installed around London, with other large cities such as Glasgow and Manchester similarly well-equipped, more than 100 local authorities still have fewer than 10 public chargers per 100,000 residents.
Minister for the Future of Transport George Freeman said: “Mapping chargepoints and producing a league table of availability by council area is intended to raise awareness. There are now more than 22,500 public chargepoints and at least one rapid chargepoint at over 95% of all motorway services areas. To help level up the country, we’ve recently doubled the funding available for councils to build chargepoints on residential streets.”