UK energy regulator Ofgem has confirmed plans to provide cabling for more than 3,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging points. In total, more than £300 million will be spent on more than 200 “low-carbon projects” that will prepare the UK to use more electricity for transportation and heating purposes.
Ofgem says it will install cabling for around 1,800 “ultra-rapid charge points” at motorway services and “key trunk road locations” across the country. When those charge points are installed, it will see the existing network triple in size.
At the same time, Ofgem says it plans to provide infrastructure for another 1,750 charge points in towns and cities. Both projects are expected to take place over the next two years, as part of a larger low-carbon transport and heating investment that is expected to amount to more than £40 billion.
The regulator is at pains to reassure drivers that the benefits of its investment will be felt nationwide, with cities such as Glasgow, York and Truro all getting extra charging points. Smaller towns including Warrington, Llandudno and Kirkwall, on the island of Orkney, will also get more charging capacity.
Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said the scheme would help increase uptake of electric vehicles, which he called a “vital” part of meeting our environmental targets.
“This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years,” he said. “The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to. We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.”
Meanwhile transport minister Rachel Maclean said the news would make the network more capable of coping with increased demand caused by rising electric vehicle uptake.
“I warmly welcome today’s news from Ofgem, which will greatly improve the resilience of our charging network as we build back greener,” she said. “With more than 500,000 electric cars now on UK roads, this will help to increase this number even further as drivers continue to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles.”