A £37 million package of funding is being made available to expand the UK’s network of charging points for electric cars.
As part of the fund, the Government is offering electric car owners grants worth up to 75 per cent of the cost of installing home charging facilities, capped at £1,000. In total, £13.5 million will be made available to homeowners who want to make their homes EV friendly.
Of course, not everyone has off-street parking facilities of their own, so £11m will be provided to local authorities in England to install on-street charging for residents who have bought a plug-in vehicle but do not have off-street parking. Authorities can apply for the 75 per cent grant in the EV owner’s place, to help cover the cost of installing a charge point.
Plug-in Car Grant uptake grows
The new funding is revealed as the Government confirms that up to the end of 2012, 3,200 grants have been claimed under its Plug-in Car Grants and Plug-in Van Grants schemes. The grant schemes-which provide EV car buyers with up to £5,000 towards their purchase and up to £8,000 towards a EV commercial vehicle-saw uptake soar two and half times higher in 2012 than 2011. In final quarter of the year alone, claims were more than 20 per cent higher than for the same period of 2011.
Now trying to build on this success, the government’s new fund for EV infrastructure will also offer councils the chance to claim up to 75 per cent towards the cost of installing rapid charge points in their area, around their strategic road network.
£9m will be made available to fund the installation of charge points at railway stations and £3m will go towards supporting the installation of charging stations on the Government and wider public estate by April 2015.
The total £37 million funding package, available until 2015, is part of the Government’s £400 million fund for encouraging the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles. This funding has already brought us the Plug-in Car Grants (worth up to £5,000 for the buyers of electric cars) and Plugged-in Places scheme, which has helped eight regions develop recharging networks.
Announcing the new package of funding today, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "This investment underlines the Government’s commitment to making sure that the UK is a world leader in the electric car industry.
“Plug in vehicles can help the consumer by offering a good driving experience and low running costs. They can help the environment by cutting pollution. And most importantly of all, they can help the British economy by creating skilled manufacturing jobs in a market that is bound to get bigger.”
More details of how to claim for the new charging point grants are expected to be announced on the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) website within the coming months when it confirms a list of approved suppliers (see here).