The Government has announced a £20 million pilot scheme to provide more than 1000 electric vehicle chargers across England as part of a wider £450 million programme to make EVs more attractive to customers.
With electric motorcycle sales increasing exponentially and every major manufacturer preparing increasingly impressive electric bikes for production in the near future – not to mention a consultation currently underway over plans to end the sale of new combustion-engined motorcycles by 2035 at the latest – the demand for charge points is growing fast. Since relatively few electric bikes have the sort of rapid chargers employed on electric cars (they’re bulky, heavy and expensive, making them hard to package on a motorcycle), roadside chargers in parking bays are an essential infrastructure element to allow people to adopt them more widely.
The new pilot, dubbed the Local EV Infrastructure scheme (LEVI), will create both on-street charge points and larger charging ‘hubs’ – similar to petrol stations – in areas that are currently poorly equipped to deal with electric vehicles.
The initial pilot fund is being distributed among winning applicants including Barnet, Dorset, Durham, Kent, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk, and Warrington. It’s aims to make electric vehicles a more viable proposition to owners who don’t have their own driveways or garages where home chargers could be fitted.
Decarbonisation Minister Trudy Harrison said: “We want to expand and grow our world-leading network of EV charge points, working closely with industry and local government, making it even easier for those without driveways to charge their electric vehicles and support the switch to cleaner travel.
“This scheme will help to level up electric vehicle infrastructure across the country, so that everyone can benefit from healthier neighbourhoods and cleaner air.”
Edmund King OBE, AA president, added: “It is essential that more on-street chargers are delivered to boost the transition to zero emission vehicles for those without home charging.
“This injection of an extra £20 million funding will help bring power to electric drivers across England from Durham to Dorset. This is one further positive step on the road to electrification.”
The LEVI scheme joins the existing On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which has installed nearly 2900 chargers so far and intends to add nearly 10,000 more in the future.