DfT devotes £10 million to installing chargers and developing a live database for EV drivers
Felix Page Autocar writer
21 January 2020

The Department for Transport (DfT) will double its EV charger funding to £10 million, with a focus on residential chargers, as it seeks to encourage more urban dwellers to go electric.

This is the second time the Government has doubled its EV infrastructure funding allowance; last August, £2.5m was allocated to the installation of EV chargers in residential areas, matching a £2.5m pledge made in 2017.

The latest cash injection will go towards installing an additional 3600 streetside chargers across the UK. It could also fund the development of a publicly accessible charger monitoring platform that would show whether individual facilities are in use or out of order. 

The DfT says such a system “could then be used by developers and incorporated into sat-navs and route-mapping apps”. 

The Government claims to have supported the installation of more than 24,000 public charging points to date, including 2400 rapid chargers, as part of its Road to Zero strategy.

This latest investment, however, follows a wave of criticism from automotive industry leaders and experts about the slow roll-out of EV infrastructure in the UK. 

Jaguar Land Rover UK boss Rawdon Glover, for example, said last year: “I’d like to see a faster roll-out of infrastructure in terms of scale, of course, especially in light of the Government’s stated Road to Zero ambitions, but I also think there need to be steps to make what we have today more usable.”

Last week, DfT minister of state George Freeman claimed the only way the Government can meet its goal of stopping sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 is through investment in infrastructure and promotion of EVs. 

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He said: “By 2024, I’d like to more than double the number of rapid charge points to over 5000. That would give even more people across the country the chance to drive electric vehicles, and we need to think about a balance between following where the uptake [of electric cars] is and reassuring tomorrow’s purchasers that we’re building for them.”

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Comments
7

21 January 2020

Any Leaf or Model3 owners out there? I ask as I often wonder what percentage of your charge is from home versus what was bought Streetside (other than 0p electricity).

It's slightly annoying that data collected from BEV's regarding this has never been published but I'm pretty sure it's known. 

 

21 January 2020
We've been running a 65 plate leaf (24KW battery) for close to two years now and have managed about 80% of our charging on the public network, mostly at work (we both work in hospitals which have charging). The remaining 20% is at home overnight on an eco 7 tariff.

We actually got a 2-year polar membership free as an incentive with our home electricity so we've probably spent around £100 over the two years covering about 20,000 miles as a rough guess.

We wouldn't go back to fossil fuels and have a tesla model 3 arriving in April.

21 January 2020
xxxx wrote:

Any Leaf or Model3 owners out there? I ask as I often wonder what percentage of your charge is from home versus what was bought Streetside (other than 0p electricity).

It's slightly annoying that data collected from BEV's regarding this has never been published but I'm pretty sure it's known. 

 

Model 3 since early December. 3000 miles so far. Spent £6.21 on Tesla Supercharger in Dundee on first day, added 100 miles in about 30 mins while I had lunch. Various fast chargers around me in Aberdeen. Can normally charge for free, but annoyingly the two closest don’t work. Charges my 70 mile daily commute in 35 to 40 mins at 43kW. Public points hit or miss, plenty, but unreliable, but also free in Scotland. A free charger is 10 mins walk from my work, and at 7kW is same as home charger and takes about 2 and a half hours to replenish my daily commute.

Overall in 3,000 miles spent about £28 on electricity. So darned cheap while public chargers are free. I could have done it all free if needed.

Real range in 0 to 5’C so far is 180 to 200 miles, and a warm day 11’C and 60 mph roads seems to be 220+ miles. A last minute timer top up before leaving in morning allows the battery to be warm and car defrosted etc while plugged in.

Overall very cheap, needs a bit of thought if you plan to do 180 plus miles in one go, but no range anxiety after first week of normal life.

Car - Fabulous. Fast, smooth, fun, quiet, well equipped, easy to use. Bad points are few, steering a little too quick, wipers should be on a stalk not the screen. If it’s reliable I can’t see myself going back to a combustion engine. Things I love - Netflix while charging, sat nav ready for my commute and shows traffic as I set off, and fabulous surge for overtaking. Also impresses girls....

21 January 2020
Oooh £10m of funding. Sounds like it is about £10b too little.

For street or public chargers to work properly your car should be connected to your home electric account. Then you pay the same rate to fill up everywhere. Obviously there could be higher fees for the 50kwh, 150kwh and 350kwh chargers as these cost a lot to install... But when publicly funded it makes sense that all the public can access it at the same rate as home charging.

21 January 2020
Onlineo wrote:

Oooh £10m of funding. Sounds like it is about £10b too little.

For street or public chargers to work properly your car should be connected to your home electric account. Then you pay the same rate to fill up everywhere. Obviously there could be higher fees for the 50kwh, 150kwh and 350kwh chargers as these cost a lot to install... But when publicly funded it makes sense that all the public can access it at the same rate as home charging.

But then at home charging must vary depending on who you pay your bills to, which contract you may be stuck in and probably regional differences as well?

21 January 2020
Agreed, linking to your home energy doesn't seem practical to me. Regional variation in wholesale cost, payment plans etc. Not to mention people who might not have a home energy tariff (for example visiting tourists, military personnel, people renting with inclusive bills, still living at home...)

My suggestions for meaningful improvement would be to legislate the following:

1. Regardless of subscription etc all chargers should have a tap to pay/contactless option

2. Change all payments to per KWh and then set a maximum price per KWh probably 4 price points should cover it <50kwh, 50kwh, 150kwh & 350kwh.

3. legislate to force all charges to default to free-to-vend in the event of IT/network faults as Ecotricity currently do to a. improve network reliability and to b. focus network providers attention to fix faults.

21 January 2020

If the Government wants to encourage the take up of EV’s and home charge points, perhaps they should consider removing the requirement for owners of listed properties have to go through full planning application in order to install a home charge point! Listing building consent is not required, but a full on building application is required taking 8 weeks, costing £230 and you are required to include scaled site and elevations plans, just to be able to mount what is effectively a large socket on a wall near your house!

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