An additional £32m of support has been announced by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) for the expansion of the UKs electric vehicle charging network.
The £32m will continue to support the growth of the UKs electric vehicle (EV) charging network, which OLEV insists is necessary to facilitate the adoption of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) by alleviating ‘range anxiety’ and enabling longer journey using an EV.
While ‘fast’ (7-22kW) charging points will be supported, the focus from 2015 will be on rapid charging infrastructure (43-50kW) which can 80% charge an EV in less than 30 minutes. The new funding will extend the network beyond the planned 500 rapid chargers already due to be installed by March 2015. OLEV has already promised that there will be a rapid charger installed at every UK motorway service station by the end of 2014.
With the announcement, the government also aim to position the UK as a market leader for the introduction fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). With Toyota releasing their first production FCV in 2015, it is likely that other manufacturers will follow. The UK, by working with industry players, is hoping to be a central proponent in driving the market for FCVs forward and in turn encouraging the switch to ULEVs.
As part of today’s statement, OLEV said: “We have always said that the decarbonisation of road transport will be achieved through a portfolio of technologies. We believe battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will all have a role to play.”
Much of the detail regarding today’s announcement, including the government’s official stance on FCVs will be announced later in the year, no later than autumn 2014.