Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced funding to increase the number of electric vehicle (EV) charge points in towns and cities across the UK. The £20 million funding boost could double the number of on-street charge points the government is supporting to nearly 8,000.
In a letter to councils across Britain on 2nd February, Shapps confirmed that funding for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) will continue into 2021/22, in a move that will help residents without private parking to reliably charge their vehicle.
This is welcome news indeed for owners of electric vehicles. A recent study by Field Dynamics, using data from Zap-Map, found that 90% of households relying on public EV charging were not within close walking distance of a charger.
That figure is now likely to change, with the Transport Secretary urging local authorities to take advantage of the £20 million cash injection and boost the number of on-street electric vehicle charge points on streets up and down the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“From Cumbria to Cornwall, drivers across the country should benefit from the electric vehicle revolution we’re seeing right now. With a world-leading charging network, we’re making it easier for more people to switch to electric vehicles, creating healthier neighbourhoods and cleaning up our air as we build back greener.”
Local councils, of course, play an essential role in providing electric vehicle infrastructure. Only last week, Warwickshire County Council awarded a £584,000 contract to bp pulse in a move that will significantly boost new residential charging points in the West Midlands.
Warwickshire will enjoy over 100 new residential charging points.
How has the ORCS scheme boosted electric vehicle charging?
Since 2017, the ORCS scheme has enabled over 140 local authority projects across the UK to apply for nearly 4,000 charge points. The new funding boost could double that number, adding nearly 4,000 additional charge points in towns and cities. As more drivers make the switch to electric cars, the Department for Transport – in partnership with Energy Saving Trust – is therefore encouraging councils to apply for funding.
Nick Harvey, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, commented:
“The confirmation of £20 million of funding for the ORCS in 2021/22 is great news. This funding will allow local authorities to install convenient and cost-effective electric vehicle charging infrastructure for those who rely on on-street parking. This helps to support the fair transition to the increased adoption of low carbon transport.
“We’re therefore encouraging local authorities to access this funding as part of their plans to decarbonise transport and improve local air quality.”
Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder and chief operating officer at Zap-Map, said:
“Today’s news is an important step towards faster and fairer charging across England. Many people who want to switch to an electric vehicle simply don’t have access to off-street parking to charge at home. Local authorities should jump at the chance to improve EV infrastructure in their own backyard.
“As the government starts to make the right moves in this area, we should also consider how we can simplify all aspects of the electric experience. This means looking at how drivers can pay for charging across networks in a streamlined and hassle-free way.”