EXPANSION: £37million for new chargepoints
Thanks to an extra £37million of government funding, UK public spaces will see a wave of new chargepoints for electric cars.
The funding for the package comes from the government’s existing £400million commitment to increase the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles and is available until April 2015.
Money will be made available to dozens of local authorities, NHS trusts and train operators to provide charging points on their property and town and city streets.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “With hundreds of new chargepoints adding to the ever-expanding network of infrastructure, people will be able to recharge their cars at stations, in hospital car parks and on streets all over the country.
“This is brilliant news for those already using these vehicles and will give greater confidence to those who are considering making the switch to electric.
“With new models coming to market every month, from major motor vehicle manufacturers and running costs of 2p to 3p a mile, these vehicles are an increasingly attractive option for many consumers and businesses.”
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “The automotive industry in the UK is a real success story.
“Four out of every five vehicles made here are exported and the sector supports many thousands of high-quality jobs across the country.
“We need to keep working with industry to maintain this momentum and secure its long-term success which is why we are supporting the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.
“As we set out in our automotive industrial strategy, there are huge opportunities for us from being a world-leader in these technologies.”
The announcements follow the government’s existing commitment of an extra £500million to drive forward the market for ultra-low emission vehicles.
Leading EV manufacturer Renault, whose latest model – the Zoe – has just gone on sale in the UK, have welcomed the additional chargepoints.
While Renault believe around 90% of charging will take place at home, the improved public infrastructure will provide ‘improved peace of mind’.
Ben Fletcher, Electric Vehicle Product Manager at Renault UK, said: “The two most common preconceptions of electric vehicles are an expensive purchase price and lack of public opportunity to charge.
“Zoe’s pricing puts the first point to rest, and this latest announcement, on top of the established highly developed network of public charging points, answers the second and allows customers to buy EV with complete confidence“