Electric car charging points UK: government sets out vision for nationwide network

At least six 150kW points planned for every motorway services in England by 2023

Porsche Taycan charging

The government has unveiled its vision for England's rapid-charging network, as part of a larger investment in transport to help the country's post-coronavirus economic recovery.

The Rapid Charging Fund, announced as part of the March 2020 Budget, will be used to cover "a portion of costs at sites across the strategic road network where upgrading connections to meet future demand for high powered charging points is prohibitively expensive and uncommercial".

It's estimated that as of 1 January 2020, there were just over 800 rapid-charging points located within easy reach of England's motorways and A-roads. By 2023, the aim is to have at least six open-access points (capable of at least 150kW charging) at every service area, with 10-12 points at the busiest locations.

The government says it's confident this will be sufficient to meet the level of demand anticipated by that date. By 2030, it aims for the network to be "extensive and ready for more people to benefit from the switch to electric cars", with around 2,500 charging points on the country's motorways and A-roads. And by 2035, the target is to have around 6,000 points.

The government adds that it'll be working with service-area operators to ensure that infrastructure is in place ahead of demand. It also expects that the new charging points will be "easy to use and hassle-free", with card payments accepted, openly available location information, a 99% availability rate, 24/7 customer care, support for all types of electric vehicles and clear pence-per-kilowatt-hour pricing information.

In September 2019, the government revealed plans for a £400 million investment in rapid charging, part of £500 million fund for implementing green technologies across the UK.

The first £70 million investment was earmarked for 3,000 new rapid charging points, with the aim of doubling the number across the UK by 2024. as the Government worked towards its proposed ban on the sale of new purely petrol and diesel-fuelled cars by 2040 – since brought forward to 2035.

That followed a May 2019 call from firms including BP Chargemaster and the National Grid for the government to do more to support the establishment of a nationwide rapid-charging network.