The UK government has confirmed that it will provide £20 million to help local authorities install on-street electric chargers in the next two years.
The funding, which is double the investment made last year and quadruple that made in 2019, can be used by local authorities to pay for up to 75% of the cost of installing EV infrastructure.
According to the Department for Transport, the latest funding boost is set to double the amount of government-supported electric chargers in the UK to nearly 8000.
As part of the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, the government claims to have installed almost 4000 chargers since 2017.
AA president Edmund King said: “Good progress is being made but in order to help current and future EV drivers, more charge points will need to be installed. For the 40% of households without designated off-street parking, finding a viable, cheap and simple-to-use solution is key.”
With the recent announcement that the government will ban sales of new ICE cars from 2030 and the £20 million boost, EV ownership is predicted to increase sharply in the next 10 years.
Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for more than 10% of all new car registrations in 2020, more than a threefold increase from 2019.
In the past five years, the number of public chargers has grown by nearly 500%, with a total of 18,265 available in the UK as of July last year.
However, despite improving infrastructure, research suggests that the availability of chargers is still lagging. Last year, public charge points per EVs hit their lowest level to date. According to analysis by energy consulting group Cornwall Insight, there were just 0.28 public chargers per EV, compared with nine per EV in 2018.
Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders boss Mike Hawes called for “massive investment” in EV charging last month. “We need a massive investment in infrastructure of something to the tune of £16 billion, with a lot going into public on-street charging.
"We’re still in the early adopter mode of EV sales but rapidly getting beyond that. One of the key things holding people back isn’t the range now but the availability of charging infrastructure.”