Government expects tenfold expansion in EV chargepoints by 2030 to support transition

Fri 25 March 2022 View all news

The Government has published its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, revealing plans to support the UK market - backed by £1.6bn - to install 300,000 public electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints by 2030. 

The Government aims to expand the UK’s charging network nationwide, delivering a robust service that is fair to all users and improves the consumer experience at all chargepoints, with significant support focused on those without access to off-street parking, as well as those who rely on fast charging for longer journeys.

As part of the support a new £450m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund has been announced to boost projects such as EV hubs and innovative on-street charging, so those without driveways have access to chargepoints.

A pilot scheme for the LEVI funding has been launched which will see local authorities bid for a share of £10 million in funding, allowing selected areas to work with industry and boost public charging opportunities. The funding includes up to £50 million to fund staff to work on local challenges and public chargepoint planning – ensuring that any development complements all other zero emission forms of travel, such as walking and cycling and other zero emission vehicles.

The pre-existing £950 million Rapid Charging Fund will support the rollout of at least 6,000 high powered super-fast chargepoints across England’s motorways by 2035.

Commenting on the strategy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "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.

"Drivers are at the heart of the revolutionary plan, with rigorous new standards and legislation being introduced to improve people’s experience of using public chargepoints.

"The Government is mandating that operators provide real-time data about chargepoints. It is ensuring that consumers can compare prices and seamlessly pay for their charging using contactless cards. They will also be able to use apps to find their nearest available chargepoint.

"These plans will also require a 99% reliability rate at rapid chargepoints to ensure they are world-class and give consumers confidence in finding chargepoints that work wherever they travel – helping eradicate so-called ‘range anxiety’."

Alongside the Government's announcement, the UK’s most-used charging network company, bp pulse, announced its own plans to spend £1 billion on developing charging infrastructure in the UK.

Richard Bartlett, Senior Vice President, bp pulse, said: "This investment allows us to deliver more. More high-speed charging in dedicated hubs and on existing fuel and convenience sites. More home charging services. And crucial enhancements to our digital technology that will make charging fast, easy and reliable."

The investment will see bp pulse:

  • approximately triple the number of public charging points in its UK network
  • accelerate the roll out of state-of-the-art 300kW and 150kW ultra-fast charging points that are able to provide EV drivers up to 100 miles of range in around 10 minutes of charging, depending on the model of electric vehicle
  • upgrade its current EV charging technology across its public charging network to improve reliability
  • support hundreds of new jobs in the UK

Responding to the the strategy announcement, Andy Eastlake, Zemo Partnership's Chief Executive said: "I'm proud of the progress that has been made by the EV Energy Taskforce - acting under Zemo's auspices, in partnership with the Energy Systems Catapult - and working closely with govenment to bring forward plans to develop our charging network at a rapid pace compatible with the growth of our electric car and van parc. 

"It's heartening to see so much of the Taskforce's work reflected in the action points in OZEV's recently announced strategy and the depth of consensus over the challenges and opportunities ahead.  We'll continue to use the model and tools developed to inform this latest report to help ensure we build the charging systems consumers expect, while optimising the benefits for the energy system overall".

In a separate announcement, Shell UK said it is to invest £20 to 25 billion in the energy sector over the next decade. Shell country chair David Bunch said that more than 75% of this funding will go towards low carbon technologies, such as offshore wind, hydrogen, carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and electric mobility.

Shell said its electric mobility arm Shell Recharge Solutions hit a new milestone with more than 10,000 public chargers available on its network in the UK in February.

Note:  The EV Energy Taskforce published its phase three report soon after the Government's strategy announcement. The Taskforce used modelling data and wide-ranging stakeholder consultations to inform its findings. Further details are available here.

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