Electric car charging points UK: Government announces £400m investment

Money ringfenced to develop rapid-charging network in UK

BMW 530e charging

The Government has unveiled plans for a £400 million investment in rapid charging, part of £500m fund for implementing green technologies across the UK.

The first £70 million investment will create 3,000 new rapid charging points, with the aim of doubling the number across the UK by 2024. as the Government works towards its proposed ban on the sale of new purely petrol and diesel-fuelled cars by 2040.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said of the announcement: “It’s fantastic there’s already a rapid charging point at almost every motorway service station, and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more charging points 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 smartphone.”

Business, Energy and Clean Growth minister Kwasi Kwarteng added: “The UK has been going further and faster in tackling climate change by becoming the first major economy to legislate for net-zero emissions by 2050 and helping us seize the opportunities of a greener future.

“With air pollution thought to kill as many as seven million people a year globally, it’s clear more needs to be done. That’s why we’re backing these initiatives. These pioneering projects will help us maintain our world-leading position in this field, and to make further strides towards a more sustainable future for our planet.”

The Government already has a £1.5 billion scheme in place to boost the uptake of electric cars. It provides a grant of up to £3,500 towards a new electric or plug-in hybrid car. Only cars approved by the Government that emit less than 50g/km of carbon emissions and have an electric-only range of at least 70 miles are eligible.

Earlier this week, Shapps (himself a Tesla Model 3 owner), urged buyers to take advantage of the plug-in car grant now, as it won’t be around forever.

“I make no bones about it,” Shapps told the Sunday Times. “We want to remove all the subsidy. So you can see this in two ways. If you are out there reading this, thinking of buying an electric car, buy it while the subsidy’s there, because it will go eventually,” adding that he couldn’t promise “lots of extra public bungs of taxpayers’ cash so you can buy your new car.”

The charging infrastructure fund will be managed and invested by the private sector, with the Government investing up £200m and the rest being matched by private investors. The remainder of the fund will be used on other sustainability projects such as technology that removes greenhouse gases from the air.