The Government has doubled funding for its On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme to £10 million for the 2020-21 financial year.
The scheme, which allows councils to apply for funding to install public EV charging points on residential streets under its jurisdiction, has the potential to pay for up to 3,600 more charging stations.
The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme made headlines one year ago after it emerged that just five councils had applied for funding since it was set up in 2016, meaning thousands of public charge points that could have potentially been installed with the funding were missed out on.
Government ministers wrote to councils at the time and urged them to make use of the funding. Now, the Department for Transport (DfT) says a total of 58 councils have signed up to the scheme since 2017, with £6.1 million having been handed out so far for the installation of 2,000 public EV chargepoints on residential streets.
The DfT is also looking at how real-time usage information for chargers built using the scheme’s funding can be published, allowing developers to incorporate the data into smartphone apps and sat-nav systems.
Grant Shapps, secretary of state for transport, 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 chargepoints on streets where people live and opening up data, we are helping drivers easily locate and use affordable, reliable chargepoints, whether at home or on the road.”
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, commented: “We welcome the increase in chargepoints, as it will help ease the fears drivers have of running out of charge.
“Eight out of 10 drivers say they are concerned about the availability of public charging points and this is one of the top three stumbling blocks to EV ownership.
“This will be especially helpful to those who have no allocated parking space at home. As the nation accelerates towards EV ownership, the look and feel of residential streets will need to change so drivers have the option to charge at home.
“Making the charging experience as easy and simple as possible will only help the uptake of electric cars and drive the country towards half of new sales being ultra-low emission by 2030.”
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