UK Government Announces Proposalsfor EV Charging Infrastructure; Promise to Make Charging Easier than Filling Petrol

Among the proposals is a scheme to fund a charging point for owners of small businesses and residential properties

The UK Minister for Transport, Rachel Maclean. Credit: UK Government website

The UK’s Department for Transport has proposed a series of initiatives to make charging electric vehicles easier than refueling a traditional petrol or diesel car. The proposals range from introducing contactless payment at charge points, ensuring operators set up a 24/7 helpline, and making data about location, power rating and prices more accessible to the public.

The government also announced a special scheme to finance the purchase of a charging point for small businesses and accommodation on rent or lease. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) will disburse up to £350 to owners of small businesses and residential properties to install an electric charging point. Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, said: “Whether you’re on the school run or traveling to work, or don’t have access to a private parking space, today’s announcement will bring us one step closer to building and operating a public charge point network that is affordable, reliable and accessible for all drivers. As the UK accelerates towards net zero emissions by 2050, we are determined to deliver a world-leading electric vehicle charging network, as we build back greener and support economic growth across the country.”

Jack Cousens, the Head of Roads Policy for the Automobile Association (AA) called attention to the proposals in light of the UK’s target to stop the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by the end of this decade. “For the here and now, there are sufficient charge points in relation to the number of EVs (electric vehicles) on the road. But with all focus on 2030, more charge points will be needed to help encourage uptake and dispel drivers’ fears of running out of charge. In simple terms, drivers want charge points to be as easy and simple to use as a fuel pump. They don’t want to have a multitude of apps or membership cards, but the ability to simply understand how much it will cost them and pay by card. We will also need a mixture of locations to come forward. As well as charging at work and home, more destination charging will be needed.”

The UK government is now mulling over the potential of supermarkets, cinema halls, shopping centers and sports grounds in strategically expanding the country’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.