DfT announces £50 million in chargepoint funding
It’s hoped the new funding package will help smaller businesses, like B&Bs, install charging infrastructure to help tackle “range anxiety” that some drivers have.
Small businesses and those in leasehold and rented accommodation are set to benefit from up to £50 million to install electric vehicle chargepoints.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which provides up to £350 towards a chargepoint, will continue next year and be expanded to target people in rented and leasehold accommodation.
At the same time, the DfT says the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) will be opened up to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and the charity sector, providing a boost as staff return to work. The changes will also mean that small accommodation businesses, such as B&Bs, can benefit from the funding, boosting rural areas, and perhaps tackling the ‘range anxiety’ associated with long journeys.
This investment comes as the department launches a consultation on improving the charging experience – simplifying payments and increasing reliability – in a bid to fulfil the the commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
“Whether you’re on the school run or travelling to work, or don’t have access to a private parking space, today’s announcement will bring us one step closer to building and operating a public chargepoint network that is affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers,” said Transport Minister Rachel Maclean.
“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.”
The consultation suggests simplifying payment at chargepoints, meaning electric vehicle drivers can use contactless payment but do not have to download an app. It also seeks to make chargepoints more reliable and to force operators to provide a 24/7 call helpline for drivers.
The investment announced today follows £20 million in funding announced earlier in the month for councils to improve the on-street charging infrastructure in their local areas, and is part of a suite of measures the government is taking to accelerate electric vehicle uptake and decarbonise transport.
“It’s great to see the Department for Transport putting businesses front and centre as part of the UK’s mission to achieve net-zero by 2050,” added Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Mike Cherry.
“Small businesses want to play a critical role in helping the UK reach its green targets, and electric vehicles are the future. That’s why this is important news for the nation, particularly rural areas which are often left behind.”