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£1.6Bn to expand UK EV charging network

Powering the EV revolution: the government has released its strategy to increase EV chargepoints tenfold by 2030.

The new strategy, which is designed to improve the consumer experience at chargepoints, significantly supports people without access to off-street parking and provides fast charging for longer journeys.

Government has committed £1.6Bn to expand the charging network – with around 300,000 public chargers expected to be available by 2030 – equivalent to almost five times the number of fuel pumps on our roads today.

Under the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, charging will become easier and cheaper than refuelling a petrol or diesel car, while new legal requirements on operators will see drivers of EVs able to pay by contactless, compare charging prices and find nearby chargepoints via apps.

Some £500M will be invested to bring high quality, competitively priced public chargepoints to communities across the UK. This includes a £450M Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund, which will boost projects such as EV hubs and innovative on-street charging, so those without driveways don’t miss out on cleaner transport.

A pilot scheme for the LEVI fund will see local authorities bid for a share of £10M in funding, allowing selected areas to work with industry and boost public charging opportunities.

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.”

Even with recent trends in electricity prices, EVs still benefit from lower fuel, running and maintenance costs than their petrol and diesel equivalents and the strategy hopes to encourage drivers across the nation to make the switch.

Production costs also continue to fall and some analysts expect purchase price parity with petrol and diesel cars to be reached well within the 2020s.

This forms part of wider government plans to reduce the UK’s reliance on imports of foreign oil, improving the security of our energy supply and reducing the country’s vulnerability to volatility in global energy prices.

Richard Bartlett, Senior Vice President, bp pulse, said: “This £1Bn investment is vital to provide the charging infrastructure the UK needs. We’re investing to build a world-class network.

“This investment allows us to deliver more. More high-speed charging in dedicated hubs and on existing fuel and convenience sites. More home charging services. And crucial enhancements to our digital technology that will make charging fast, easy and reliable.”

This is the first in a series of roadmaps that will be published over the course of the year for each sector of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, showcasing how the UK is delivering on its green commitments.

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