The Department for Transport has revealed a plan to increase the number of electric car charging points in the UK to 300,000 by 2030.
In its statement, the DfT said the government aims to expand the UK’s charging network so that it is robust, fair and covers the whole country. A £450m fund will be available to local authorities to expand the number of charging points in their area.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “No matter where you live – be that a city centre or rural village, the north, south, east, or west of the country, we’re powering up the switch to electric and ensuring no one gets left behind in the process.”
The DfT has also said that it will become mandatory for charge point operators to provide real-time data about their charging times and prices, as well as apps to help motorists find the nearest charging station. The operators will also be expected to accept contactless payment methods and meet a reliability rate of 99% at rapid charging stations.
The strategy has been cautiously welcomed by motoring organisations, with AA spokesperson Edmund King saying: “The Government does appear to recognise that ease of use, reliability, slow roll-out for those without home charging and improving charging on motorways, are all essential.”
“We would like to see urgent action in all of these areas plus we have also called for more focus on charging solutions in rural locations, improvements to the customer experience in terms of safety at charge points in dark, isolated areas and accessibility for disabled drivers.”
RAC’s Head of Policy Nicholas Lyes added that it was “pleasing to see the government set ambitious reliability targets on the charge points themselves.”
However, he also cautioned that the timescale of installing 300,000 charge points needed to be rolled out much faster with many drivers looking to switch to electric vehicles ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We’re powering ahead with plans to help British people go electric, with our expanding charging network making journeys easier right across the country.”