Extra £50m funding for workplace and home charging schemes
The Government has updated and expanded the workplace and home charging schemes with a £50m boost to help expand the charging infrastructure.
Under the changes, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) has been opened up to SMEs and the charity sector.
The voucher-based scheme provides support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points and originally offered £500 grants but was slashed to £350 last year; said to allow more people to benefit from the scheme. Meanwhile the number of sockets allowed was doubled to 40.
The changes will also mean that small accommodation businesses such as B&Bs can benefit from the funding; expected to boost coverage in rural areas.
In addition, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) will continue next year and be expanded to target people in rented and leasehold accommodation.
This investment comes as the Department for Transport launches a consultation on improving the charging experience, in a move to simplify payments and increase reliability.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “Whether you’re on the school run or travelling to work, or don’t have access to a private parking space, today’s announcement will bring us one step closer to building and operating a public charge point network that is affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers.
“As the UK accelerates towards net-zero emissions by 2050, we are determined to deliver a world-leading electric vehicle charging network, as we build back greener and support economic growth across the country.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) welcomed the updates to the charging schemes.
Chief executive Mike Hawes said: “We urgently need more charging points to accelerate our transition to electric motoring, so this announcement is welcome and a step in the right direction. As we race towards the phase out of sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, we need to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle charging network.
“An electric vehicle revolution will need the home and workplace installations this announcement will encourage, but also a massive increase in on-street public charging and rapid charge points on our strategic road network. This will give drivers the confidence that recharging will become as easy as refuelling.”
And the Energy Saving Trust (EST) said the extension of the Workplace Charging Scheme will enable many more people to have access to affordable, convenient charging at home and work.
Tim Anderson, group head of transport at the EST, commented: “This is an essential step towards the phasing out of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
“Support for small businesses is going to become more important than ever and this funding will enable businesses and drivers from all backgrounds the opportunity to be a part of the switch to electric cars and vans. This assistance complements the significant ongoing investment in on-street and rapid charging network by the private sector, local and central government.”