The UK Government has announced it is investing £70 million to help install 3,000 new rapid EV charge points across the UK. The figure would more than double the amount of rapid chargers in the country, which currently sits at more than 2,400 devices.
Expansion will be made over the next five years, with more than 5,000 rapid chargers due to be installed by 2024. In all likelihood the figure will be much higher than that as a number of networks already have significant expansion plans, and new networks are coming in to the market.
Private companies will be able to apply for a share of the £70 million for rapid charger expansion, provided they match the funding with their own investment. The money is the first round of investment from a £400 million fund set up to boost the UK’s rapid charging infrastructure.
Details of charger requirements are limited, but the announcement says “rapid charge points can recharge a family car in as little as 20 minutes, compared to existing technology which can take 40 minutes”. This implies – though is not certain – that faster units than the widespread 50 kW points will be required to gain funding, and a 100 kW charging capability looks to be the minimum.
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.”