Plans for a cleaner and healthier Britain have stepped up a gear as ministers announced more than half a billion pounds of investment in green technologies.
The Treasury has launched a £400 million fund to bolster Britain’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with the first £70 million allocated for 3,000 chargepoints – more than doubling the number across the UK to 5,000.
Rapid charge points can recharge a family car in as little as 20 minutes, compared to existing technology which can take 40 minutes – making the reality of driving electric vehicles easier and more accessible for people across the country. The UK already has one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in Europe and this investment will help make that the fastest by installing state-of-the-art technology.
A review is currently underway to explore the provision of charge points across major road networks, meaning drivers could charge their car while stopping for a coffee at a service station. The investment complements £1.5 billion support to boost the uptake of electric vehicles and make cleaner vehicles more accessible to everyone. This is part of the government’s ambition to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
Exchequer Secretary, Simon Clarke, said: “We are driving ahead with plans to make travel greener while backing British innovation and technology.
“I am delighted to announce this funding that will more than double the number of rapid charge points for electric vehicles on our roads. Britain already boasts one of the biggest networks of charging infrastructure in Europe and soon we will have the fastest thanks to this investment.
“This is the latest in our proud record on climate change –having slashed emissions by over 40% since 1990, whilst simultaneously growing our economy and setting an ambitious target for net zero emissions by 2050.”
Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “The UK has been going further and faster in tackling climate change by becoming the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 and helping us seize the opportunities of a greener future. With air pollution thought to kill as many as seven million people a year globally, it’s clear more needs to be done.
“That’s why we’re backing these initiatives aimed at making improvements from battling air pollutants to protecting our invaluable sea life. These pioneering projects will help us maintain our world-leading position in this field and to make further strides towards a more sustainable future for our planet.”
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid chargepoint at almost every motorway service station and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more chargepoints installed across the UK.
“This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smart phone.”
Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and Head of Project Finance Profession, said: “Charging infrastructure will be a crucial part of our journey to Net Zero 2050 and will require substantial investment from the private sector.”