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Major expansion of public charging points for electric cars

Raising the number of chargepoints from 30,000 to 300,000 by 2030 is part of the Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.

24 March 2022

Electric vehicle (EV) owners will benefit from a 10-fold increase in public chargepoints by the end of the decade, the Department for Transport has announced.

Raising the number of public chargepoints in the UK from 30,000 to 300,000 by 2030 is part of the Government’s new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.

Some £500 million will be invested to install public chargepoints across the UK.

Support will be focused on helping drivers without access to off-street parking, as well as on fast charging for longer journeys.

The existing £950 million Rapid Charging Fund will support the rollout of at least 6,000 super-fast chargepoints across England’s motorways by 2035.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We’re powering ahead with plans to help British people go electric, with our expanding charging network making journeys easier right across the country.

“Clean transport isn’t just better for the environment, but is another way we can drive down our dependence on external energy supplies.

“It will also create new high-skilled jobs for our automotive and energy sectors and ultimately secure more sustainable and affordable motoring for all.”

New standards and legislation are being introduced to improve drivers’ experience of using public chargepoints.

Operators will be mandated to provide real-time data enabling consumers to check the status of devices and compare prices, and accept contactless payments.

The plans will also require a 99% reliability rate at rapid chargepoints.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.

“The scale of the climate challenge ahead of us all is well known, and decarbonising transport is at the very heart of our agenda.

“That’s why we’re ensuring the country is EV-fit for future generations by the end of this decade, revolutionising our charging network and putting the consumer first.”

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2030.

Plug-in vehicles – which include pure electrics and plug-in hybrids – accounted for more than one in six new cars registered in the UK in 2021.

RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “It’s pleasing that the Government recognises the value of mandating contactless payment and will also set ambitious reliability targets on the chargepoints themselves.

“Many current and would-be EV drivers worry that charging units will be out of order when they arrive to charge their vehicles, so it is vitally important this is addressed.

“While the Government’s expectation of having 300,000 chargepoints available by 2030 might sound impressive, we are concerned that this is not going to be sufficient with drivers looking to switch to an electric vehicle en masse ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.”

Earlier this week the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warned that the ratio of EVs per public chargepoint is “getting worse” and “we need the infrastructure to catch up”.

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