The government has launched a £400m fund to improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the UK.
The first £70m of the fund has been allocated to 3,000 new charge points, more than doubling the number in the country to 5,000 in the next five years.
Simon Clarke, exchequer secretary, said: “I am delighted to announce this funding today that will more than double the number of rapid charge points for electric vehicles on our roads. Britain already boasts one of the biggest networks of charging infrastructure in Europe and soon we will have the fastest thanks to this investment.”
Grant Shapps, transport secretary, added: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid chargepoint at almost every motorway service station, and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more chargepoints installed across the UK.
“This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smart phone.”
Recent research from Close Brothers Motor Finance found that 40% of drivers are considering an electric vehicle as their next car – an increase of 7.5m drivers in the past two years. In addition, one in five dealers saw an uplift in the number of customers interested in alternative fuel vehicles in the last year.
Seán Kemple, director of sales at Close Brothers, said: “2019 may be remembered as the year when electric vehicles went mainstream. While sales are still relatively low in real terms, the speed of growth is accelerating, and it looks like we’re months, not years, from the tipping point.
“Consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of AFVs or an electric vehicle – from environmental protection to lower costs of running a car after the initial outlay – and manufacturers are responding to this demand.”