More than 1,000 new public EV charge points are to be installed as part of a pilot scheme to improve provision for drivers without private parking.
Nine local authorities have won almost £20 million in funding from the Government and industry through the first wave of the Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme, which is intended to provide up to £450m for infrastructure improvement.
The scheme will see a mixture of charging facilities installed to expand the council’s public provision. The new infrastructure will range from individual on-street units to larger filling station-style sites with multiple devices.
An estimated 40% of households don’t have access to private parking where a home EV charger could be installed and a lack of access to charging is seen as a major hurdle in encouraging EV adoption.
The pilot scheme is part of a wider programme to improve charging options for these drivers and expand the country’s charging network, which must grow rapidly to cope with the rising demand for electric cars.
Councils in Barnet; Dorset; Durham; Kent; Midlands Connect (with Lincolnshire as a lead authority); North Yorkshire; Nottinghamshire; Suffolk and Warrington will benefit from £10m in funding from the Department for Transport and £9m in private investment.
Decarbonisation Minister Trudy Harrison said: “We want to expand and grow our world-leading network of EV chargepoints, working closely with industry and local government, making it even easier for those without driveways to charge their electric vehicles and support the switch to cleaner travel.”
The LEVI pilot will run alongside the existing On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which offers funding help for councils to install public chargers. That scheme has come under fire after it was revealed that just 107 councils had applied for funding and only 2,900 chargers have been installed since it launched five years ago. Around 10,000 more have been approved but are yet to be fitted, with the vast majority located in London boroughs.
AA president Edmund King, said: “It is essential that more on-street chargers are delivered to boost the transition to zero emission vehicles for those without home charging. This injection of an extra £20 million funding will help bring power to electric drivers across England from Durham to Dorset. This is one further positive step on the road to electrification.”
The RAC’s head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said that a strong charging network was key to the Government’s ambition to accelerate EV uptake.
He commented: “We know that there are many drivers who do not have driveways or any form of off-street parking, so investing in streetside charging is an absolute necessity. Drivers can also look forward to the prospect of local charging hubs which will give them somewhere to quickly charge their vehicles without needing to drive any considerable distance.
“The goal must be to spark electric vehicle uptake by creating an excellent charging infrastructure that caters for everyone’s needs.”