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The Department for Transport (DfT) will double its EV charger funding to £10 million, with a focus on residential chargers, as it seeks to encourage more urban dwellers to go electric.
This is the second time the Government has doubled its EV infrastructure funding allowance; last August, £2.5m was allocated to the installation of EV chargers in residential areas, matching a £2.5m pledge made in 2017.
The latest cash injection will go towards installing an additional 3600 streetside chargers across the UK. It could also fund the development of a publicly accessible charger monitoring platform that would show whether individual facilities are in use or out of order.
The DfT says such a system “could then be used by developers and incorporated into sat-navs and route-mapping apps”.
The Government claims to have supported the installation of more than 24,000 public charging points to date, including 2400 rapid chargers, as part of its Road to Zero strategy.
This latest investment, however, follows a wave of criticism from automotive industry leaders and experts about the slow roll-out of EV infrastructure in the UK.
Jaguar Land Rover UK boss Rawdon Glover, for example, said last year: “I’d like to see a faster roll-out of infrastructure in terms of scale, of course, especially in light of the Government’s stated Road to Zero ambitions, but I also think there need to be steps to make what we have today more usable.”
Last week, DfT minister of state George Freeman claimed the only way the Government can meet its goal of stopping sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 is through investment in infrastructure and promotion of EVs.
He said: “By 2024, I’d like to more than double the number of rapid charge points to over 5000. That would give even more people across the country the chance to drive electric vehicles, and we need to think about a balance between following where the uptake [of electric cars] is and reassuring tomorrow’s purchasers that we’re building for them.”