Government’s decision to double its funding of residential, on-street electric vehicle (EV) charge points to £10 million next year has been hailed as “a positive move” by the NFDA.
Sure Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) said today (January 21) that a reliable and accessible charging infrastructure was “key to ensure that larger numbers of motorists embrace EVs” as she welcomed the news.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that funding for the installation of charge points on residential streets will be doubled next year, potentially adding a further 3,600 charge points across the UK.
The move followed his doubling of funding for the same purpose - by £2.5m - in August last year.
Today's announcement also saw Shapps confirm that Government will be progressing plans to make information from all public charge points available in a standard format, allowing real-time information about availability and functionality to be incorporated into sat nav systems and route mapping apps.
The Government had also previously stated that all newly installed rapid charge points must provide debit and credit card payments.
Shapps has now confirmed that it intends to develop a roaming solution across the charging network which would allow EV drivers to use any public charge point through a single app or payment method.
He said: “We want to make electric cars the new normal, and ensuring drivers have convenient places to charge is key to that.
“By doubling funding again for charge points on streets where people live and opening up data we are helping drivers easily locate and use affordable, reliable charge points whether at home or on the road.”
Government and industry have already supported the installation of more than 17,000 devices, providing 24,000-plus publicly available charge points, of which some 2,400 are rapid charge points.
The UK now has one of the largest charging networks in Europe with a study conducted by Nissan last year concluding that there are now more locations where you can charge your car than there are petrol stations.
Commenting on today’s announcement of further funding to boost EV infrastructure further, Robinson said: “It is encouraging to see that the Government has doubled the funding for residential street chargepoint recognising that charging an electric vehicle must be a convenient and simple process.
“We have been highlighting that a reliable and accessible charging infrastructure is key to ensure that larger numbers of motorists embrace EVs. As a result, further investment into the UK’s EV charging infrastructure is a positive move forward.”
She added: “Standardising and increasing the amount of data available, alongside a simplified payment process, are additional, positive improvements which will be of huge benefit to motorists.
“NFDA will continue to work closely with the Government and the relevant stakeholders to sustain the growth of the EV sector, particularly, through the development of our Electric vehicle Approved (EVA) accreditation scheme following a very successful first year”.