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[NEWS] UK government to invest £20 million in local EV chargers

UK government to invest £20 million in local EV chargers

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More than 1000 new chargers will be installed in areas including Durham, Kent and North Yorkshire

The UK government has pledged funding worth £20 million to install electric vehicle chargers in nine local authorities across the country. 

More than 1000 new chargers will be installed across Barnet, Dorset, Durham, Kent, the Midlands (primarily Lincolnshire), North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Warrington.

Of the £20m total, £10.05m will come from the government’s £450m local EV infrastructure (LEVI) pilot scheme, which supports infrastructure such as on-street chargers and larger charging hubs. 

A combined £8.6m will come from private charger operators, while the remaining £1.9m will be injected by local councils.  

The government said the investment will help to improve access for drivers without access to private driveways for home charging and that it will support EV uptake. 

“We want to expand and grow our world-leading network of EV charge points, working closely with industry and local government," 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 AA has supported the move, suggesting the investment will positively support the switch to zero-emissions travel. 

“It's essential that more on-street chargers are delivered to boost the transition to zero-emissions vehicles for those without home charging,” said AA president Edmund King.

“This injection of an extra £20m funding will help bring power to electric drivers across England from Durham to Dorset. This is one further positive step on the road to electrification.”

The RAC also noted the positives of the investment, particularly for those who lack access to private charging.  

“We know that there are many drivers who don't have driveways or any form of off-street parking, so investing in streetside charging is an absolute necessity,” said Nicholas Lyes, the RAC's head of roads policy. 

“Drivers can also look forward to the prospect of local charging hubs, which will give them somewhere to quickly charge their vehicles without needing to drive any considerable distance.

"The goal must be to spark electric vehicle uptake by creating an excellent charging infrastructure that caters for everyone’s needs.”

The government said further £10m in funding, originally set to be invested in 2023, will be brought forward to this year because of “growing demand from local authorities.”

It has already installed 2900 chargers through its On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) and has committed to a further 10,000 in the future.

As part of its wider £1.6 billion vehicle infrastructure strategy, the government hopes to bring the total number of EV chargers in the UK to 300,000 by 2030 - five times the number of fuel pumps today.

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