Ofgem announces £300m collaborative investment to support development of EV infrastructure

Mon 24 May 2021 View all news

The energy regulator, Ofgem, has announced a £300m investment in infrastructure to support 200 low carbon projects and get the UK ready for the widespread introduction of electric vehicles and heating.

The investment in cabling and associated infrastructure - to be delivered over the next two years - will support the provision of 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas (a tripling of the current network) as well as a further 1,750 charge points in towns and cities.  

The regulator says that a massive upgrade is needed to Britain's cables, substations and other infrastructure to support the anticipated new demand for electricity. It says that the investment is 'part of a programme for safe, secure and clean energy' with £40 billion confirmed already and more to follow in 2022. 

Ofgem says that 204 shovel-ready, low carbon projects targeted across England, Scotland and Wales. 

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said: “This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.

“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to. We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.

Keith Bell, Member of the Climate Change Committee, said: “This joint initiative by Ofgem and the electricity distribution network companies is a welcome development, showing flexibility in the regulatory arrangements in the long-term interests of energy users. 

“As well as enabling charging of electric vehicles and the electrification of heat, network investment will provide support for supply chains and, where projects require expansion of the workforce, the creation of new jobs. It will be an essential complement to a smarter power system where innovative information technology and attractive energy tariffs for consumers will ensure we make best use of our electricity system infrastructure.”

In related research, Ofgem found that electric vehicle (EV) owners are three times more likely to say they’re on a time of use tariff than those without an EV and that they're "more open" to embracing changes in how they use their energy.

60% of EV owners also said they would consider smart charging their vehicle to avoid times when electricity is most expensive.

However, while 24% of consumers are planning to buy and EV or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in the next five years, 38% said they are unlikely to get an EV in that timescale.

Ofgem has been an engaged participant in the EV Energy Taskforce, the cross-sectoral initiative to maximise the benefits to the energy and transport sectors and to consumers of the electric transition.  The initiative is convened by Zemo Partnership.

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