The government has promised to invest £20 million in electric vehicle (EV) charging points, hoping to grow the UK’s charging network. The funding is designed to help councils create on-street charging points that allow those without a garage or driveway to charge their vehicle on the road.
All £20 million will be allocated to the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, or ORCS, which allows councils and local authorities to apply for funding. If approved, the ORCS will cover up to 75 percent of the costs associated with procuring and installing charge points, as well as three-quarters of the cost of implementing a dedicated parking space when necessary.
The latest round of funding will cover the 2021/22 financial year, and the Department for Transport (DfT) says the money could double the number of on-street charge points supported by government cash. Should that be the case, the government will have provided funding for almost 8,000 on-street chargers by the end of April 2022.
According to the DfT, the ORCS has provided cash for more than 140 local authority projects since its inception in 2017, with almost 4,000 on-street chargers built or in the pipeline. The government says the scheme will allow everyone to use electric cars, thus helping to tackle air quality issues and support economic growth.
The next year’s round of funding is the latest development in the government’s drive to increase uptake of electric vehicles. The DfT says the plan to end sales of new conventional petrol- and diesel-powered cars in 2030 could create 40,000 extra jobs by 2030, and the department claims it’s expecting to invest more than £1.3 billion in charging infrastructure over the next four years.
“From Cumbria to Cornwall, drivers across the country should benefit from the electric vehicle revolution we’re seeing right now,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. “With a world-leading charging network, we’re making it easier for more people to switch to electric vehicles, creating healthier neighbourhoods and cleaning up our air as we build back greener.”
Meanwhile Nick Harvey, senior programme manager at the Energy Saving Trust – an independent organisation created to help tackle climate change – said the investment would help those reliant on on-street parking access more eco-friendly vehicles.
“The confirmation of £20 million of funding for the ORCS in 2021/22 is great news,” said Harvey. “This funding will allow local authorities to install convenient and cost-effective electric vehicle charging infrastructure for those who rely on on-street parking. This helps to support the fair transition to the increased adoption of low-carbon transport.
“We’re therefore encouraging local authorities to access this funding as part of their plans to decarbonise transport and improve local air quality.”