The government has announced a £50 million investment designed to increase the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points in homes and workplaces. The funding, which is available to small businesses, homeowners and people in rented accommodation, will provide up to £350 towards the cost of a domestic charging point.
Recently, the government has helped subsidise charge points for homeowners using the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), but that has now been extended to include leaseholders and those in rented accommodation. At the same time, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is also being opened up to small businesses and charities, allowing them to install charging points for staff and clients.
The investment in new charging points has been announced alongside a new consultation on the state of charging in the UK. The Department for Transport (DfT) says it wants to look at simplifying payments for charging and making chargers more reliable as it aims to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.
In particular, the DfT is suggesting changes that make it possible to use all charge points without the need for a smartphone app, while also suggesting operators should make location data, power rating and price information more accessible for drivers.
It’s hoped those moves will make it “as easy – or even easier – for drivers to charge their car as it is to refuel a petrol or diesel vehicle”. That said, the DfT has made no promises surrounding charge times, even though refilling a battery still takes much longer than filling a fuel tank.
The funding comes after the government announced a £20 million fund to help councils install on-street charge points to help drivers who do not have a garage or driveway to charge their vehicle. That money will help cover part of the cost for councils, and the DfT hopes it will increase the number of on-street charging facilities available.
“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 chargepoint network that is affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers,” said Transport Minister Rachel Maclean. “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.”