Transport Secretary announces £70 million boost for more rapid electric vehicle chargers

A £70 million pilot scheme has been launched by the Transport Secretary which he says will power up motorway service areas to pave the way for ultra-rapid electric vehicle chargepoints.

Speaking on COP28 Transport Day in Dubai, Mark Harper laid out plans for up to 10 trial sites in England with boosted electrical network capacity – ensuring electricity network capacity is future-proofed for at least 10 years, to 2035.

The rapid chargepoint announcement, part of the government’s ambitious rapid charging fund, will cover a portion of the costs of upgrading the electricity grid at successful motorway service areas, ensuring that the private sector can continue to expand the charging network and providing consumers more confidence to choose EVs.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “This government is on the side of drivers and working with the private sector to provide robust chargepoint infrastructure is part of our Plan for Drivers, with today’s announcement paving the way for more ultra-rapid chargepoints.

“This £70 million pilot scheme is the starting point and sends a message to consumers and industry that we are investing wisely and rapidly to grow the future of transport in the UK.”

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, added: “This is an important next step in our journey to net zero and demonstrates the government’s commitment to help the private sector expand our charging network.

“The scheme follows our world-leading zero emission vehicle mandate, meaning we are truly supporting drivers and industry in making the switch to electric.”

The Department for Transport says Motorway Service Areas are strategically important as regularly spaced stopping points along the motorway. Investment here addresses the need for a highly visible and dependable longer-distance charging network to support drivers and accelerate future EV purchases. The pilot, which is being delivered by National Highways, will help gather evidence to inform the design of a full fund.

This is also the start of a 10-week rapid charging fund consultation seeking views from a range of stakeholders, including chargepoint operators, motorway service area operators and electricity suppliers, on where chargers are needed most and how best to design the RCF.

(Picture – Yay Images)

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