Number of rapid charge points to more than double by 2024
Government plans to invest £70m in extra rapid charge points will more than double the UK’s rapid charging infrastructure by 2024.
The plans form part of a newly announced £400m investment to help develop rapid charging infrastructure points for electric vehicles, with the initial £70m allocated for 3,000 charge points – bringing the total across the UK to 5,000. This is alongside plans announced by private chargepoint providers recently that will also bolster the UK’s rapid charge network, including from Drive Energi and Engenie.
Commenting on the new Government funding, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid chargepoint at almost every motorway service station, and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more chargepoints installed across the UK.
“This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smart phone.”
The announcement, revealed alongside plans to invest £31.5m for research into pioneering technologies to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and £22m to research new kinds of air pollutants and minimise their effects on public health, has been widely greeted.
Julie Furber, vice president of electrified power at Cummins, which produces power generation and low-carbon solutions, commented: “This investment in infrastructure is a positive response to the demand for low-carbon transport and mobility. The early EV story has been framed in terms of consumer passenger vehicles, but the progress being made in this sector also presents new possibilities for industrial and commercial fleets. By ramping up the country’s infrastructural capacity in this way, we can help make a cohesive transformation of commercial vehicles such as delivery vans possible.
“To further diversify the country’s traffic towards low emission vehicles, electric battery technology must be developed to the point where it’s affordable enough to be economically viable. Ultimately, this requires the government to create a policy environment where companies are confident and supported in which solutions they should choose to roll out – only then will it be possible for companies to decarbonise their fleets more cohesively, in large tranches at a time.”
André ten Bloemendal, vice president, Europe at ChargePoint, also said the news was a step in the right direction for the EV industry, adding: “It is necessary to get this infrastructure in place to remove key logistical barriers to consumer adoption and make it easier for the public to adopt greener transport options. However, more still needs to be done in regards to cross industry collaboration to make current charging stations more accessible for drivers. The answer to this is a fully interoperable, peer to peer roaming solution and charging stations that are designed with integrated contactless payments and ease of use in mind.”