Government allocates £70m to support ultra-rapid EV charging pilot at ten motorway service stations

Wed 06 December 2023 View all news

The UK Government has earmarked £70 million to support the cost of grid upgrades needed to install ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charge points at 10 motorway service stations in England as part of a trial to boost the electrification transition.

The initiative was announced by Transport Secretary Mark Harper on Transport Day at COP28 in Dubai. It will require boosting electrical network capacity to ensure that electricity network capacity is future-proofed for at least 10 years, to 2035. 

This pilot project, under the 2021 Rapid Charging Fund,  is being delivered by National Highways. The Government says it will help gather evidence to inform the design of a full fund.  The funding will cover a portion of the costs of upgrading the electricity grid at successful motorway service areas "ensuring that the private sector can continue to expand the charging network and providing consumers more confidence to choose EVs".

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, said: "This is an important next step in our journey to net zero and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to help the private sector expand our charging network."

Motorway service areas are regularly spaced stopping points along motorways and the Government says that strategic investment here helps to address the need for a highly visible and dependable longer-distance charging network which is needed to underpin a full transition to electric motoring. 

The Government has also launched a 10-week rapid charging fund consultation seeking views from a range of stakeholders in England, including chargepoint operators, motorway service area operators and electricity suppliers.

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