Currently reading: Government to expand UK charging infrastructure tenfold by 2030
Plan will take the number of UK charge points to 300,000 by 2030, including 6000 new rapid chargers

The UK government will increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations tenfold by 2030, swelling its electric vehicle infrastructure strategy fund by an additional £450 million. 

The investment is part of the government's £1.6bn electric vehicle infrastructure strategy. It will increase the total number of charge points in the UK to 300,000 by 2030, which the government says is five-times the number of fuel pumps in the UK today.

Around £500m will go towards installing “high-quality, competitively priced” public charge points across the UK, a figure that includes the introduction of a £450m local electric vehicle infrastructure (LEVI) fund for on-street charging and hubs. 

Meanwhile, £950m has been earmarked to install 6000 rapid charging points along the UK’s motorway system.

An additional £50m will be used to fund staff who will research local EV challenges and charge point planning, so future developments can complement other methods of travel, including cycling and walking. 

The Department for Transport says local authorities can bid for a share of £10m, which could support more remote areas and allow them to “work with industry and boost public charging opportunities”.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “We’re powering ahead with plans to help British people go electric, with our expanding charging network making journeys easier right across the country. 

“Clean transport isn’t just better for the environment but is another way we can drive down our dependence on external energy supplies. It will also create new high-skilled jobs for our automotive and energy sectors and ultimately secure more sustainable and affordable motoring for all.”

The plans also mandate an increased accessibility level for charge points. Operators will be required to accept contactless payments, as well as provide real-time data so drivers can check the status of a charger.

In addition, rapid chargers will also require a 99% reliability rating, which, the DfT says, will “help eradicate so-called range anxiety”.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “No matter where you live – be that a city centre or rural village, the north, south, east or west of the country – we’re powering up the switch to electric and ensuring no one gets left behind in the process. 

“The scale of the climate challenge ahead of us all is well known and decarbonising transport is at the very heart of our agenda… That’s why we’re ensuring the country is EV fit for future generations by the end of this decade, revolutionising our charging network and putting the consumer first.”

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The sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned in 2030 and some believe the government's investment doesn’t go far enough to cope with the growing number of EVs on UK roads. 

RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: "We are concerned that this is not going to be sufficient, with drivers looking to switch to an electric vehicle en masse ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. 

"Many current and would-be EV drivers worry that charging units will be out of order when they arrive to charge their vehicles, so it is vitally important this is addressed."

The AA suggests many drivers aren’t yet convinced of all-electric power because of the infrastructure. 

AA chairman Edmund King said:“As we advance quickly to the 2030 deadline for new zero-emission vehicles, it is vital that we get our charging infrastructure in order.  

“The government does appear to recognise that ease of use, reliability, slow roll-out for those without home charging and improving charging on motorways are all essential. 

“We would like to see urgent action in all of these areas, plus we have also called for more focus on charging solutions in rural locations, improvements to the customer experience in terms of safety at charge points in dark, isolated areas and accessibility for disabled drivers.” 

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Vauxhall was the first car manufacturer to comment on the changes. The firm said the investment was welcome, but a missed opportunity amid the rising demand of EVs across the country.

“With demand for EVs rising, and an expanding choice of EVs available, we believe that public confidence in a visible, reliable and easy to use charging network is key – especially for those who do not have the luxury of off-street charging,” said Paul Wilcox, Vauxhall managing director.

“Whilst we welcome the Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, we feel that it is a missed opportunity to provide certainty to customers by mandating binding targets on the roll-out of the charging infrastructure in the UK.” 

“It is essential that infrastructure keeps pace with market demand, or in fact leads demand, to remove any customer fears of ‘charging anxiety’ and accelerates the electrification of Britain’s roads as quickly as possible.”

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Nickktod 25 March 2022
“The investment, which is part of the government's £1.6bn electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, will involve a total spend on EV infrastructure of £1.6 billion.”

Brilliant…. Does anybody edit the copy the work experience kids phone in?

Peter Cavellini 25 March 2022

All well and good that the current Government are trying to do this among other as important stuff that in different ways affects us all, but, assuming we still have a Tory Government by then, will all charge points be serviceable, will any broken ones be fixed within 24hrs guaranteed?