The government has announced the rollout of a new smartphone app that will help drivers choose the right electric car for their needs. Dubbed EV8 Switch, the new app was created using £2.7 million of funding from the UK Space Agency and is available to download for Android and Apple devices.

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), the free app can see which electric vehicles would be most suitable for consumers, basing its recommendations on the driver’s current vehicle and how the vehicle would fit with the driver’s current lifestyle. It will also show motorists how close the nearest charge points are and which journeys could be completed without stopping to charge.

Furthermore, the app will calculate how much money drivers would save in vehicle running costs by switching to an electric car. The system can also show the carbon dioxide emissions saving of such a switch, and outline any air quality improvements moving to an electric vehicle (EV) could make.

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The app is part of a government offensive to encourage the uptake of EVs, and the DfT has also joined forces with EV website to produce a guide to help drivers make the switch. The DfT says the Beginners’ Guide to Going Electric offers “practical advice and top tips” for those considering an EV.

That initiative is joined by an extension of the government’s £50 million scheme to help businesses install electric vehicle charge points. Under the new terms of the scheme, small businesses such as B&Bs will now be eligible to apply for the programme.

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“I want to not only provide easy access to the tools that people need to feel confident about making the switch, but also to make sure that charge points are accessible, affordable and recognisable,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. “That’s why we have already committed £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of charging infrastructure up and down the country. And as we look forward to COP26 and beyond, our vision is that the UK is at the forefront of the zero emission transport future, creating thousands of green jobs in the process.”

Meanwhile founder Ginny Buckley said the new projects would help drivers decide whether an EV would suit them.

“We know that switching to an electric car can be a daunting prospect with a host of new information to absorb and jargon to cut through,” she said. “But it’s not as complicated as it may seem and our research shows that once you’ve gone electric you won’t want to go back to a petrol or diesel car. We’re delighted to have teamed up with the government to help clear the air for drivers with a straightforward, unbiased and jargon-free guide.”

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