Drivers should have better access to electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the country through a new pilot backed by £20 million of government and industry funding.
Through the Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme announced this March, local authorities and industry will work together to create new commercial EV charging infrastructure for residents.
Mentioning only “faster on-street charge points to larger petrol station-style charging hubs,” the announcement provided little detail on the types of chargers the pilot is to include. However, the rollout supports the government’s drive to encourage more motorists to go electric, which can save drivers money on fuel and running costs and improve air quality as the country moves towards net zero.
The winners of the pilot fund are: Barnet, Dorset, Durham, Kent, Midlands Connect (with Lincolnshire as a lead authority), North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Warrington.
With the funding expected to deliver over 1,000 public charge points across the areas, the scheme aims to help residents without private driveways to have better access to EV chargers, as well as growing the charging network across the country and supporting the nation’s uptake of zero emission vehicles.
“We want to expand and grow our world-leading network of EV charge points, working closely with industry and local government, making it even easier for those without driveways to charge their electric vehicles and support the switch to cleaner travel,” said Decarbonisation Minister Trudy Harrison.
“This scheme will help to level up electric vehicle infrastructure across the country, so that everyone can benefit from healthier neighbourhoods and cleaner air.”
The pilot is backed by £10 million of government funding shared among the 9 winning local authorities in the first tranche of the planned £450 million scheme, with winning pilot bids supported by an additional £9 million in private funding. A further £1.9 million will come from public funds across local authorities.
“More investment in charging infrastructure is welcome, particularly in regional areas that are less well served, which our data shows parts of the North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands are,” said Melanie Shufflebotham, COO and Co-founder of Zap-Map.
“Our recent research with Field Dynamics shows just 17% of people without off-street parking live within five minutes walk of a public charger, so on-street charger provision is critical alongside the rapid and ultra rapid network all EV drivers will rely on for longer journeys.”
Local authorities and industry will work together to create new charging infrastructure.
The scheme will allow local authorities to provide feedback on how to grow the network and the role the private sector can play.
The new LEVI fund builds on the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), which has seen nearly 2,900 charge points installed so far, with funding provided for approaching 10,000 additional charge points in the future.
Following growing demand from local authorities, the government is also announcing a further £10 million in funding, which has been brought forward for this year and brings this year’s ORCS funding to £30 million in order to help maintain ongoing installations.