UK government expands electric vehicle charging schemes

By Ellen Daniel

The UK government has expanded its electric vehicle charging schemes with new funding worth up to £50m.

Announced by the Department for Transport, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which provides up to £350 towards the installation of an electric vehicle chargepoint, will continue next year and will be expanded to people in rented and leasehold accommodation.

Furthermore, the Workplace Charging Scheme, which provides support towards the up-front costs of installing chargepoints, will be opened up to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and the charity sector. Small accommodation businesses, such as B&Bs, will also be able to receive funding.

The department has also launched a consultation on improving the charging experience through simplifying payments and increasing reliability.

With the UK government committing to banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, improving electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a key concern.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As the UK accelerates towards net-zero emissions by 2050, we are determined to deliver a world-leading electric vehicle charging network, as we build back greener and support economic growth across the country.”

Last week, the Department for Transport announced £20m in funding to help local councils increase the number of on-street chargepoints.

Sam Raciti, UK general manager at mobility startup Bolt, said: “This news is greatly welcomed at Bolt. Though we are doing what we can to bring more emissionless transportation to the Bolt platform on a global and local level, such is the scale of the hurdle and need at hand, this is something we all need to work on together. Bolt is keen to work with the Department of Transport to help accelerate the transition of Private Hire Vehicles to EVs, away from petrol and diesel.

“Our research told us that though over 80% of Bolt drivers are enthusiastic about transitioning to an electric vehicle, there are still a number of pragmatic barriers that need to be seen to. Having physical access to charging infrastructure is undoubtedly an issue, whilst our research also highlighted that basic knowledge and understanding about EV infrastructure – including about cost of and access to charging – was lacking. Given we now have over 50,000 private hire drivers registered on the Bolt platform in London, we consider this funding acknowledgement of the challenges that still remain and consequently a significant step forward.”

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