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Accelerating The Expansion Of Electric Vehicle Charge Points

The UK government’s commitment to supporting electric vehicle (EV) drivers has taken a significant leap forward based on the latest measures introduced as part of the ‘Plan for Drivers’.

EV motor trade dealers may be interested to learn of the new initiatives. These encompass grants for schools, financial support for councils, and innovative proposals to bolster the number of EV charge points nationwide.

EV Charging Station

In Nottinghamshire, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Anthony Browne is spearheading support for greener schools through a groundbreaking grant.

This grant, an integral component of the ‘Workplace Charging Scheme’ funded by the Department for Transport (DfT), now covers nearly 75% of the costs associated with purchasing and installing charge points.

The funding, capped at £2,500 per socket, marks a substantial increase from the previous limit of £350, and state-funded schools, colleges, nurseries, and academies are all eligible to apply, not only to enhance facilities for staff and visitors but also generate revenue by opening charge points to the public.

The Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Fund, amounting to over £380 million, is being distributed to local authorities across the nation – which is great news for the motor trade sector!

The first round of capital payments for charging projects has been approved for three local authorities from East Sussex to North Yorkshire and two London boroughs, totalling over £14 million.

This funding injection aims to expedite the installation of thousands of new chargers, ensuring a widespread and rapid rollout catering to private and motor trade drivers in every corner of the country.

In conjunction with the LEVI capability funding, nearly 100 dedicated EV officers have been newly recruited to facilitate charge point procurement.

Recognising the importance of a skilled workforce, the government is also launching the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (EVI) training course for local authority officers, which will be open to all authorities from March after a successful trial period.

These comprehensive measures are designed to make EV charging more accessible and convenient for vehicle owners nationwide. With over £2 billion already invested, the government is steadfast in its commitment to support drivers as the transition to net zero progresses fairly and proportionally without burdening working individuals.

Insurance brokers and providers will already be aware of the surge in EV adoption, with fully electric vehicles capturing over 16% of new vehicle sales in 2023. The total number of plug-in vehicles in the UK has already exceeded over 1 million and is growing fast.

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With over 53,000 public charge points installed across the UK, recent legislation mandates transparent and easily comparable prices across all charge points. Additionally, many new public charge points are required to offer contactless payment options.

Schools participating in the grant will enhance their charging infrastructure and contribute to developing green spaces in their local environments. The expansion of this grant aligns with the government’s broader sustainability and climate change strategy, reinforcing the commitment to move toward net zero.

To further expedite charge point installation nationwide, the government is initiating a consultation to grant EV charge point operators the right to carry out street works using permits rather than licenses. This approach is expected to significantly reduce waiting times, costs, and administrative hurdles, facilitating a faster rollout for drivers.

As part of the government’s ‘Plan for Drivers’, this latest set of measures follows last month’s crackdown on disruptive roadworks and efforts to improve sat-nav accuracy.

The government’s approach to EVs has attracted substantial investments in gigafactories and EV manufacturing from motor trade industry leaders such as Nissan, Tata, BMW and Ford. This, coupled with extended trade rules on electric vehicles with the EU, underscores the long-term commitment to supporting the EV revolution.